Congratulations on your growth and commitment to Breakthrough Miami over the last four years. You’re halfway on your journey as a Breakthrough Scholar! We celebrate your continued drive and dedication to catching your dreams. We are excited to welcome you this summer to BreakthroughU. BreakthroughU is our high school program dedicated to supporting our Scholars through graduation and on to college.

BreakthroughU at the University of Miami is the culmination of the Breakthrough Miami (BTM) program for high school level Scholars (9th-12th grade). Breakthrough Scholars who complete the middle school portion of our program are invited to continue as BreakthroughU Scholars. Motivated, high-achieving eighth-grade students are also invited to apply and join BreakthroughU in the Summer before their ninth-grade year.

BreakthroughU is a four-year program dedicated to supporting our Scholars in graduating from high school on time and being accepted into college. There are four pillars of the BreakthroughU program: Advising and Academic Support, BreakthroughU Summer, Major & Career Exploration, and College Access Coaching.

Advising and Academic Support

Once a month, BreakthroughU Scholars join us on Saturdays for personal and professional development workshops that serve to enhance their academic progress.

BreakthroughU’s Academic Support Program supports Scholars in keeping their academic performance on track as they transition to high school. Our virtual study hall provides 9th and 10th grade Scholars with structured academic support where they can develop effective study habits, receive homework assistance, and build community with their peers. Throughout high school, small group academic support is available for Scholars. Scholars who require additional support are matched with trained volunteers who serve as tutors in academic subjects.

Also throughout high school, BTM staff are in regular communication with Scholars and their families to ensure that students are doing well personally, professionally, and academically. BTM staff also join the community of guidance counselors, teachers, and administrative leaders invested in the success of our Scholars to advocate within their high schools by tracking Scholars’ academic progress and personalizing support structures on a case-by-case basis.

BreakthroughU Summer

During BreakthroughU Academy, rising 9th-grade BreakthroughU Scholars spend the summer at the University of Miami strengthening their academic habits, developing socioemotional and leadership skills, and exploring career interests to facilitate a smooth transition to high school in the Fall.

After completion of BreakthroughU Academy, BTM staff provide resources for older Scholars to find and apply for a range of summer enrichment and internship opportunities. BreakthroughU Scholars can also join the village of Breakthrough Miami Teaching Fellows or volunteers at any of our five middle school sites.

Major & Career Exploration

In the first two years of the BreakthroughU program, 9th and 10th grade scholars take part in a series of career and college exploration field trips. Our annual Spring College Tour exposes Scholars to in-state and out-of-state institutions, focusing on differences between various types of postsecondary institutions.

Each Fall, Breakthrough Miami partners with a diverse array of corporate partners to host our annual Mock Interview Day. During this event, our 10th and 11th Grade Scholars are led through practice interviews by professionals and given feedback on their resumes and interview skills. The day culminates with a networking lunch designed to expand the professional network of our Scholars.

We engage some of the same corporate partners to present our signature BreakthroughU Insider Experience in order to expose our Scholars to the breadth of exciting professional opportunities. Our Insider Experience exposes our 11th and 12th Grade Scholars to one of many diverse workplaces in our community, providing introductions to industries and future possibilities, and advancing our programmatic tracks of Health and Medicine, Science & Engineering, Public and Social Services, and Arts, Entertainment, and Sports.

College Access Coaching

Each Summer, we convene our rising 11th and 12th grade Scholars for our annual College Bootcamp. BreakthroughU’s College Bootcamp is a collaboration between Breakthrough Miami, local College Counselors, Admissions Professionals, and community volunteers to provide college application and admissions support to 12th grade Scholars. Through curated events, interactive workshops, and 1:1 coaching, BreakthroughU Scholars complete and submit highly competitive college applications, as well as financial aid and scholarship applications.

Each student who completes the College Bootcamp is paired with a College Access and Career Coach who works with small groups of Scholars over a two-year period. Our coaches are trained to support 11th grade Scholars as they: research schools and create a college list, prepare for college entrance exams, and arrange college visits and fly-ins. Our coaches support 12th grade Scholars as they: communicate with admissions offices, write and revise admissions and scholarship essays, complete college applications, and apply for financial aid. With the support of Breakthrough Miami’s network of partners, we are also able to extend our Scholars affordable test prep options and expert advice in analyzing financial aid awards.

BreakthroughU is expanding to offer Scholars deep one-of-a-kind learning experiences in diverse fields. Designed to support college readiness and access, introducing and inspiring future career and degree pathways during a critical time in the eight-year Scholar journey, our growing program opportunities are made possible through strategic partnerships with leading organizations.






Leadership Academy – Rising 10th grade Scholars are invited to join the inaugural class of Breakthrough Miami’s new Leadership Academy. Ignited by an Inspire Change Social Change grant from the NFL, our Leadership Academy is designed to support Scholars to build critical leadership skills focused on three domains: Leading Self, Leading Others, and Leading Community. Participants will commence their journey with a summer introductory program held weekly on Thursday evening, with continued programming throughout the school year during sophomore, junior, and senior year. Students will build skills in leadership and identity, self-management, productive relationships, communication, influence, and social justice. Apply to the Leadership Academy today at breakthrough.miami/lead. Our first session starts June 17th.

UnderlineThe Underline has established a new partnership with Breakthrough Miami, empowering 10 high school Breakthrough Scholars each semester to serve as Underline Ambassadors. This unique leadership development program is designed to empower youth to create a stronger connection between our community and our green space and instill in them a long-lasting pride and attachment to Miami.  Ambassadors will gain knowledge of The Underline’s history, public art, horticulture, design, and programming. Students will lead groups, gain an understanding of the role nature plays in Miami’s resiliency and develop communication/presentation skills. Ambassadors earn a stipend of $1000 and will be trained to give tours of Brickell Backyard, the first half-mile of The Underline. Training will include a curriculum focused on park design, plants, public art, programs, community outreach, and technology. Ambassadors will be mentored both by Underline staff as well as by prominent members of the community, including board members, community stakeholders, and public officials. The Underline is a 10-mile linear park, urban trail, public art destination, and multi-modal hub located directly underneath the Metrorail. The first cohort of Ambassadors are onboarded and leading already! Applications will reopen in the Fall here: breakthrough.miami/underline.

Project Destined – We are launching a new partnership with Project Destined this summer to offer a truly unique 8 week learning experience in Real Estate for rising 10th-12th grade Scholars. While real estate booms and gentrification movements spread across neighborhoods, we are working with Project Destined to empower our Scholars to become skilled, resourced, and networked in positive, socially-minded, community-based real estate development. This 8-week program, designed to build an ownership mindset among diverse high school students, will explore real estate, the importance of ownership and the power of technology to tell authentic, compelling stories about communities. Scholars will be engaged and trained in market research, pitch presentations and live real estate deals. There is no cost to participate and Scholars will earn a $500 stipend and compete weekly for $1000 challenges. Learn more about Project Destined here. Apply by June 7, 2021 at community.projectdestined.com.  We highly encourage our Scholars to take advantage of this valuable learning opportunity!

EmpowerU Marine Science & Shark Tagging – Deepening our partnership with the University of Miami, a new Shark Tagging program “EmpowerU” will be offered exclusively to BreakthroughU rising 9th-12th grade Scholars beginning this August. Scholars will be immersed in hands-on marine science expeditions with the UM Shark Research & Conservation team. This exciting experience will commence with a pre-trip research introduction on shark research methodologies, equipment, data collection and application, and lessons from the field. This is an amazing opportunity for Scholars to conduct real-life shark research. Students will experience hands-on data collection techniques, such as tagging and biopsy sampling, and learn how these data are used for long-term research and conservation management. Marine biologists from the University of Miami will serve as role models and mentors. Following the shark tagging expeditions, Scholars will participate in workshops on data analysis, marine conservation, and STEM college/career readiness. Apply at breakthrough.miami/sharks

College Coaching  – The BreakthroughU 11th and 12th graders are encouraged to participate in our enhanced college access and readiness programming. Breakthrough offers Scholars a variety of programming to aid the college identification, application, enrollment process as well as to identify and compete for prestigious Scholarships and awards. College Bootcamp, College Tour, Sessions with College Admission Officers, access to College Fairs and Financial Education sessions.  Our College Coaching program matches 11th and 12th grade Scholars with professionals in the community committed to supporting their aspirations towards pursuing higher education. Scholars will receive ongoing guidance, mentorship, and advocacy throughout their college search, application and enrollment process.  Scholars are assisted in setting realistic college and career goals, while also receiving practical support as they navigate the college exploration and admissions processes, start to finish.