Breakthrough Kent Denver

"Breakthrough is different because it’s not like a typical school, classes are fun and it pushes us outside of our comfort zone by introducing us to things we’re not used to. For example, this summer every student was expected to get up in front of the community at some point either to present or perform something. Even though it can be scary, getting out of your comfort zone is something you have to do in order to grow.”

- Nachi Mason, GALS Middle School Student

What is Breakthrough Kent Denver?

The mission of Breakthrough Kent Denver is two-fold: first, to increase the educational and social opportunities of motivated, financially under-resourced, middle and high school students through a quality year-round program, and second, to motivate and train talented college-aged students for careers in education. This year, we celebrate 25 years that Breakthrough continues to impact the lives of students from Denver and Englewood Public Schools and future educators nationwide.

As an organization, BKD tackles the two greatest challenges in education; closing the achievement gap for under-resourced students and addressing the national teacher shortage. Breakthrough places a strong emphasis on academics by delivering intensive and rigorous curriculum in math, literacy, writing, and science. Simultaneously, we focus on providing programming to enhance leadership and social emotional skills.

A Breakthrough Story

We are proud to say that since 1995, Breakthrough Kent Denver has served over 2,600 Denver and Englewood Public School students, 1,218 volunteers, and has provided high-quality teaching opportunities to over 690 college-aged students! For the eighth consecutive year, 100% of Breakthrough seniors graduated from high school, and in 2019 89% matriculated to college. Our goal is that 100% of our students graduate from top performing high schools and 100% go onto college, and that we train effective teachers and create education advocates.

"I’d never taught a class before my first summer with Breakthrough, so the first two weeks of our training was crucial to my growth. We have four teaching practice lessons, which simulate a class and then we get feedback from our peers and from our Master Teachers. I felt so much more confident going into the classroom with our kids, I don’t know what I would have done without our training weeks. As a returner in my second summer, I was able to focus on my lessons and also connect with my students in an intentional and profound way. The best way I can describe this program is that everyone is here to grow. From students to teachers, we’re working every day to improve who we are and Breakthrough provides us the space to do that.”

- Kyle Paradis, University of South Carolina-Columbia