Monthly Archives: August 2015

St. Joseph Health System donation prompted by former Breakthrough parent!

We are excited to announce that Breakthrough SJC has received a generous donation from St. Joseph Health System. The donation was presented on behalf of St. Joseph by Ms. Lulu Armendariz, parent of former Breakthrough student Cassie Duran and current employee of St. Joseph Health System. Cassie is a class of 2015 graduate from Dana Hills High School and participated in Breakthrough from 7th to 12th grade.

Cassie, who found success with the program, stated, “Breakthrough has helped me with everything. I would not have been able to complete the (college) application process without Breakthrough.” Cassie will be studying nursing at the University of San Francisco in the spring of 2016. Best of luck Cassie!

After watching her daughter’s success with Breakthrough and seeing how much she benefited from the program, Ms. Armendariz wanted to support Breakthrough SJC. Ms. Armendariz contacted Breakthrough after nominating the program for a charitable donation from St. Joseph Health System. After careful consideration, Breakthrough SJC was chosen to receive the donation. Thank you Ms. Armendariz for nominating us and thank you St. Joseph Health System for generously donating to Breakthrough SJC.

Breakthrough celebrates 10th successful summer

Family, friends, teachers, and students gathered for Celebration at the Saint Margaret’s campus Saturday night to commemorate the end of Breakthrough SJC’s 10th successful summer. This summer, Breakthrough SJC served 81 rising 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students and 20 teaching fellows from prestigious universities around the nation and from local high schools. Highlights of Celebration included inspiring testimonials from teachers and students, student performances, and a College Bound commencement.

Dulce Morales, a Breakthrough teacher attending Syracuse University, is among the many teachers that make a difference at Breakthrough SJC. Dulce stated, “Before you know it, (the students) will be graduating with their degree in hand. Breakthrough truly is dynamite and I am truly happy to be part of the Breakthrough family.” Breakthrough SJC’s College Bound commencement included 18 rising high school students who have successfully completed three full summers at Breakthrough.

During Celebration, two Breakthrough students gave their testimonials on how they have benefited from Breakthrough SJC. According to Chloe Abracosa, a rising 8th grader in the program, “My favorite thing about Breakthrough is that you can become anything you want to be. Now that I see how much I’ve changed, I can’t imagine my life without Breakthrough.” Ulises Ramirez went on to say “the teachers make me feel like I am in a big family.” The Breakthrough family is excited about the successes of their summer and is ready for a great school year!

BTSJC student is a Summer Scholar

This summer we sent Ivan Santana to attend UCI’s Summer Scholar Program. In this program, high school students take one UCI course with college students and are supported by both mentors and fellow Summer Scholars. Breakthrough SJC staff chose Ivan, a rising junior, to participate in the program after assessing his academic progress and potential to benefit from the opportunity. After the staff selected Ivan, he also had to submit an application, grades, essays, and a letter of recommendation.

After Ivan finishes “The Biology of Human Diseases” course and his grades are submitted, the class will count towards his college credits when he eventually attends a four-year university. Ivan has learned a lot taking a college course and learning about college life, saying, “I had a soul searching moment when I went to the seminars. You go into college thinking you know what you want to do, but you might end up majoring in something completely different. In college you have access to so many resources and so much knowledge and you should really take advantage of it.”

Ivan says he feels more prepared to apply to and attend college after being a part of the Summer Scholars program, explaining, “UCI had the admissions president come and speak to us and he told us the important things to have on your application. He was telling us how to get into UCI but I could apply it to any UC I’d want to go to.” Thank you UCI for giving Ivan the opportunity to attend the Summer Scholars Program!

8th graders excel in annual egg drop competition

Engineers from Fluor Corporation visited Breakthrough SJC for our second annual egg drop competition. Students had to follow strict guidelines and make sure their crafts were lightweight and creative. Fluor engineers also followed these guidelines with their own competition entry!

Before the competition, engineer Felipe Delgado taught students about the different types of engineering. He encouraged a passion for learning, saying, “We are hoping to encourage you to feel that passion to work in a team and solve problems and come up with solutions. That is why we’re here today.”

Nine teams entered the competition and eight of nine survived the drop! It was up to the engineers from Flour to judge the winners of the competition. The winning team included Angel, Aldo, and Robert. Thank you Felipe Delgado, Dwight Jackson, Vernyl Phillips, and Tanya Aguilar for helping Breakthrough SJC students learn about engineering and enjoy the egg drop competition​!​