SCDS Octagon: Working Group Reintroduces Long-time Program

Breakthrough returns with Working Group reintroducing long-time program, now fiscally independent of school

When it was announced in August that Country Day would terminate its financial support for Breakthrough Sacramento (BSAC), many people thought it was the end of the year-round, tuition-free college preparation program for under-served and highly motivated students, which has been at SCDS since 1994...

SCDS Octagon: Welcome Back, Breakthrough I

WELCOME BACK, BREAKTHROUGH: Carter Graham, ’94, remembers dynamic, adventurous teachers

In the “Welcome Back, Breakthrough series,” former BSAC teachers recall their favorite memories of their time at Breakthrough. Carter Graham, ‘94, worked in the summer program in 1993 and 1994 and is now a fifth-grade teacher at San Francisco Day School...

Breakthrough Sacramento has New Leadership!

The Breakthrough Sacramento Working Group is pleased to announce the selection of Faith Galati as Executive Director and Amber Busby as Program Manager.
These appointments are the next essential step in Breakthrough Sacramento’s promising future.
Faith brings more than 20 years of experience managing, promoting, and fundraising for regional and international non-profits, and has a deep sense of commitment to our region’s economically disadvantaged and foster youth. She has served nonprofits at program, fundraising, executive, and board of director levels, and has a breadth of perspective and experience.  Faith is also a Sacramento Country Day School alumni parent and long-time supporter of Breakthrough Sacramento.
“Breakthrough Sacramento is back thanks to the hard work and support of its passionate community, “ remarked Galati. “I am personally thrilled at the opportunity to dig in and deliver a program that is everything you have come to rely on and more!  Together we are going to make this a phenomenal new age for Breakthrough Sacramento.”
Amber Busby comes to Breakthrough Sacramento from College Track Sacramento, where she served as Operations Manager.  Ms. Busby has more than seven years experience in the education sector, teaching, mentoring, and providing administrative support.  Her experience as a trainer to staff who serves high school students will ensure the success of Breakthrough Sacramento’s teaching fellows and tutors, all of whom are college undergraduates and high school students. She has both the enthusiasm and range of experience to support the dual mission of Breakthrough.  

Both Faith and Amber would enjoy hearing from you.  Send them a note or ask them a question at

We in the BSAC Working Group are grateful to all who have pitched in to help us get this far and look forward to great things for Breakthrough Sacramento in the Future. 

Breakthrough is Dynamite!

The Breakthrough Sacramento Working Group
Toran Brown                   Michael Covey               Faith Galati
Richard Mancina             Laura Monahan              Sue Nellis
Jamie Nelson                   Ross Siragusa                Pat Talamantes


To see the official press release, click here.


Faith Galati, Executive Director

Faith Galati, Executive Director

Amber Busby, Program Manager

Amber Busby, Program Manager

Join the $50,000 Donor Challenge!

Your gift is doubled when you give in December! 

A generous anonymous donor has pledged to match all donations, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000, during the month of December!  This is an opportunity to double your gift to Breakthrough Sacramento (BSAC), and really make a difference!

Help us meet this match by giving today!  While shopping for that ideal gift for someone you love, consider giving the gift of a promising future to local Sacramento youth.  Breakthrough Sacramento boasts tremendous success sending 96% of program graduates on to college, 94% of whom are first in their families to do so. With statistics like that, it’s clear that a gift to Breakthrough Sacramento is a gift that keeps giving and giving for generations!

Give in honor of a friend or loved one, or send this post to someone who wishes to give you a meaningful gift.


  • Can be given in honor of a friend or a loved one.
  • Can be made easily and quickly online.
  • Is tax deductible, in most circumstances.

Support the 200+ area youth who are waiting to receive BSAC services once more.  A donation to Breakthrough Sacramento, in any amount, is a gift that keeps giving for generations, and until December 31st, it’s a gift that doubles in value!  
Please don’t wait another moment. Click on the donate button in this email and make your contribution securely today using a credit card.  Or, write a check to Breakthrough Sacramento and mail it to Sacramento Region Community Foundation, 955 University Ave., Ste. A, Sacramento, CA 95825.  Be sure to include a note on your check indicating it is intended for Breakthrough Sacramento.

Thank you for your generous contribution and support. 
All gifts are tax deductible. SRCF tax ID# 94-2891517


Your Breakthrough Sacramento Working Group

Toran Brown                   Michael Covey               Faith Galati
Richard Mancina            Laura Monahan              Sue Nellis
Jamie Nelson                 Ross Siragusa                Pat Talamantes

Give a Gift That Keeps Giving and Giving. . .
The button below takes you to Breakthrough Sacramento's donation page at the Sacramento Region Community Foundation. There you can safely and securely make a tax-free contribution in any amount.


For more information on Breakthrough Sacramento, its new affiliations with the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC) and Sacramento Region Community Foundation, Click Here.

Breakthrough Sacramento is Making a Comeback!

The Breakthrough Sacramento Working Group is pleased to announce important milestones in the reestablishment of Breakthrough Sacramento.

BSAC is now sponsored by a strong and well-established umbrella organization, the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC). In addition to its work supporting the community college system in California, FCCC acts as fiscal sponsor for “programs and projects that work in the public interest to enhance education in California and beyond” (from FCCC website). FCCC will provide for BSAC the human resource and financial accounting services that Sacramento Country Day School previously provided. We are excited about our partnership with FCCC, and believe that both organizations will benefit from this relationship.
In concert with the sponsorship, Breakthrough Sacramento has also partnered with the Sacramento Region Community Foundation (SRCF), which will act as a conduit for donations to BSAC. Since 1983, the SRCF has connected local donors with impactful charities in the Sacramento area. Their experience and professionalism will make it easy for supporters of Breakthrough Sacramento to contribute to BSAC in a variety of ways, including credit card gifts, stock gifts, and IRA Charitable Rollovers.
These are important milestones in the process of “Bringing Back BSAC.” Nonetheless, many tasks and hard work remain in order to fully reestablish Breakthrough Sacramento’s unique, dynamic, and impactful program. Our next task is to hire an Executive Director and a Program Coordinator.  The search for both is underway with the support of Adolfo Mercado.
Also, fundraising is successfully underway. The fundraising campaign is structured to ensure that Breakthrough Sacramento has the financial wherewithal to operate for at least four years. Obviously, we need your financial support; large and small donations are welcome. To make a donation by credit card, use the donate button in this email.

We in the BSAC Working Group are grateful to all who have pitched in to help us get this far. In addition to this appeal for financial support, you can expect to hear from us soon regarding volunteer opportunities. Thank you.

Breakthrough is Dynamite!!

The Breakthrough Sacramento Working Group

Toran Brown
Michael Covey
Faith Galati
Richard Mancina
Laura Monahan
Sue Nellis
Jamie Nelson
Ross Siragusa
Pat Talamantes

To learn more about supporting Breakthrough Sacramento, please click the button below.


A Message from the Breakthrough Sacramento Working Group

Dear Friends of Breakthrough Sacramento,

There is good news to report in the effort to reassemble the Breakthrough Sacramento program. As you may have heard, a group of supporters with ties to both Sacramento Country Day School and Breakthrough Sacramento has been actively working and good progress has been made in assessing the status of the original program, meeting with the Executive Committee of the Country Day Board of Trustees to better understand their position, and formulating a strategy for moving forward. Below is a summary of what we have learned, and the initial steps being taken to restore Breakthrough Sacramento.

In September, for many of the past 24 years, Breakthrough Sacramento has provided school-year tutoring services to its six classes of students (seventh through twelfth grades), as well as college and financial aid counseling to its high school seniors. At the moment, these services have ceased, and while it is a priority to resume them quickly, establishing an active fundraising program will be essential to this effort.

Additionally, while the Country Day Board has expressed ongoing interest in making the campus available for the Breakthrough summer program, they have indicated that the school will no longer host either the program or staff during the school year. The school has also stated that it cannot provide critical support services such as accounting, development, and administrative oversight, all of which were being graciously offered to the program at no cost. Thus, going forward, Breakthrough Sacramento will need to become its own entity. Creating that entity is the primary focus of the Working Group at this time. We envision that the Breakthrough Sacramento program will be reestablished as quickly as possible, providing its unique and highly effective college preparation for academically motivated students from under-resourced schools.

Since the announcements in August, many of you have generously stepped forward to offer your time, talents, and financial support to keep the program going. This is sincerely appreciated and the hope is that the program soon can benefit from this generosity. However, the Working Group has been faced with the challenge of replacing the necessary organizational infrastructure so that it can both properly accept contributions and also restart the financial functions required for the proper accounting and use of these funds. In addition, there have been many questions and issues (not the least of which are timing issues) surrounding development of the entity structure and achieving tax-exempt status for the benefit of future donors.

To that end, the Working Group is pleased to announce that it will be forging a relationship with the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC) ( The work of this non-profit organization includes the fiscal sponsorship of educationally-oriented programs like Breakthrough Sacramento. Thus FCCC will perform many of the services previously offered by Country Day School. Moreover, their tax-exempt status will allow contributions earmarked exclusively for Breakthrough to be tax-deductible. Perhaps best of all, these services and their experience are available to Breakthrough almost immediately.

Finally, the Group can confirm that Ying Lo-Khang, who has served as Breakthrough Sacramento’s Program Director for the last four years, will remain actively involved with program and assist in maintaining operational continuity as student and program services come online. Additionally, Adolfo Mercado, the former Executive Director, will return in an advisory capacity, but no longer lead the program as he had already chosen to pursue other opportunities following the closure. The Group expects that a process will soon be underway to identify a new Executive Director in advance of the Summer 2017 session and welcomes your recommendations of known, qualified candidates for consideration.

Please understand that the path travelled has been far from linear, and many different options and avenues have been considered and explored. However, the expectation is that the current opportunities will allow Breakthrough Sacramento to restart quickly and offer considerable future flexibility as the program and organization develop.

Of course, there is still much work to be done and you should expect that the request for financial and non-financial (program execution, grant writing, advisory board work, etc.) assistance soon will be made.

In the meantime, the need to reach out and communicate with the Breakthrough community is critical, and to best accomplish this, we intend to use the Breakthrough Sacramento website ( Please visit the site regularly to get up-to-date information and, in the near future, make donations to the Breakthrough program. Also, consider friending Breakthrough Sacramento on Facebook ( This is another excellent way to remain connected and see some of the wonderful accomplishments of the program. Finally, if you would simply like to reach out or have a specific question or comment, email to

Again, thank you for the outpouring of support from friends and alumni of the program. We intend to be as open and inclusive as possible while we work to quickly restore this vital program. The voices and energy of our Breakthrough and Country Day communities have encouraged the resurgence of Breakthrough Sacramento and ultimately will ensure its ongoing success.


The Breakthrough Sacramento Working Group

Toran Brown (’82)
Michael Covey
Richard Mancina (’73)
Laura Monahan
Sue Nellis
Jamie Nelson
Ross Siragusa
Pat Talamantes