Drexel and Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia Partner
Drexel University and Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia announced a new partnership to support summer educational programming for low-income students from Philadelphia public schools who are transitioning to high school. In recognition of support from Drexel, the Breakthrough high school program has been renamed The Peggy and Richard Greenawalt Program, in honor of Drexel Board of Trustees Chairman Richard A. Greenawalt, and his wife, Peggy, a founding board member of Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia.
"Peggy and I strongly believe that students in Philadelphias public schools deserve the opportunity for a high-quality education," said Greenawalt. "Breakthrough provides such an opportunity, and we are honored that their high school program will bear our name and that this new partnership with Drexel will help students of all backgrounds achieve academic success."
Breakthrough is a six-year academic enrichment program that builds a path from middle school to college for underserved students. Under the new partnership, Drexel will provide funding, classroom space and technology to support the expansion of Breakthrough's high school program, including an intensive summer enrichment program for students entering 9th grade. Breakthrough students currently attend summer academies preceding seventh and eighth grade, classes during the school year in grades 7 and 8, and a variety of academic support programs throughout high school.
The summer program for rising 9th graders will help students at a critical time in their education, as they prepare to transition to high school. Thanks to the educational enrichment provided through Breakthrough and their own hard work, over 90 percent of the Philadelphia middle school students in the Breakthrough program earn competitive slots in the citys college-preparatory high schools. Additional academic support and academic skills training can better position students for success in these rigorous high schools and prepare them for college.
In addition to helping middle school students stay on a path to college, Breakthrough also inspires talented college students to become educators and engaged citizens by giving them responsibility for teaching in its programs.
"Breakthrough is thrilled to partner with Drexel to expand our high school program. The partnership reinforces our message to every Breakthrough student that a college education is within reach," said Breakthrough Acting Executive Director Jeanean Mohr. 'We are tremendously grateful to Drexel for its commitment to creating educational opportunity for youth, and to nurturing the next generation of outstanding teachers."
The new Drexel partnership will provide more opportunities for students from Drexel, including those in the School of Education, to participate as teachers and mentors.
"Drexel is proud to help Breakthrough enrich this outstanding program, and pleased that it will include opportunities for Drexel students to experience hands-on civic engagement by inspiring and educating young people," said Drexel President John A. Fry. "It's fitting that the program be named for Rich and Peggy Greenawalt, who have shown such inspiring leadership in support of Philadelphia schools, and I congratulate them."
Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia was founded in 1995 as Summerbridge Germantown, an organization dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities for low-income middle school students, and expanding the pipeline of talented and dedicated urban public school teachers. It was modeled after the highly successful Summerbridge Program, founded in 1978 in San Francisco. Now both programs are part of the Breakthrough Collaborative (www.breakthroughcollaborative.org) that consists of 33 sites across the United States.