Breakthrough Miami is defined by the people who lean in, learn and lead together. As we commemorate 30 years of breakthroughs, we celebrate the stories of vision, commitment, and engagement that our legacy has been built upon. Our “30 for 30” reflection series featuring some of our most engaged, focused and impassioned members of the Breakthrough Village.
Breakthrough is a place of purpose and we invite you to take a part in this important work.
John and Kendra Malloy are long-time supporters of Breakthrough Miami and for them, like many other families in our Village, volunteering has always been a family affair. Each of their four children, who all attended Ransom Everglades, have engaged with Breakthrough on various levels as volunteers, tutors, Teaching Fellows, and planning committee members, carrying on a family tradition of service and leadership.
Over the years, Breakthrough Miami has become one of the Malloy family’s most cherished nonprofit organizations. Kendra talks about the natural alignment between their family’s values and Breakthrough’s mission,
“Individually and collectively, education has been a top motivating priority for our family. We understand that by giving students access to educational opportunities, you’re cultivating the next generation of leaders.”
John is inspired by Breakthrough’s exceptionalism as an organization that consistently produces sustainable outcomes. He explains, “The results are huge. No other real, direct, long-term organization gives you that type of investment return.” Through his intimate involvement with Breakthrough as a volunteer and corporate partner, John believes that with more community support Breakthrough Miami could reach even more students to, “level the playing field for education and opportunity.”
When asked about how Breakthrough has grown and evolved over the years, their son, Liam, recalled how Breakthrough leadership nurtured and supported two of his Ransom Everglades classmates who wanted to bring their passion for swimming and water polo to Breakthrough’s Summer Institute. Breakthrough volunteers, Ashleigh and Chelsea Johnson conceived the idea and over three summers were able to expand the student-led Johnson Sisters Swimming Program to all 5th graders at Ransom Everglades’ Summer Institute site, eventually expanding the swimming and water polo program to all Breakthrough Summer Institute sites. Liam explained, “Breakthrough just grows that way because students come in starting things and it just keeps going.” Kendra agrees,
“It [Breakthrough] is one of those programs that’s not afraid of changing, adapting, and creating that entrepreneurial spirit of inclusion.”
Impressed and inspired by Breakthrough’s innovative, entrepreneurial and collaborative ethos, John and his daughter, Karlee, saw an opportunity to build on the organization’s already agile and immediate response and adaptation to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time, John and his partners at RWC were looking for a way to support and engage the communities in which they worked during such tough economic and social times, and Karlee was looking for a way to merge her passions for running and education to support a cause greater than herself that might help connect people virtually during the pandemic. Breakthrough was also exploring creative ways to keep supporters and donors engaged during the pandemic. Birthed at the convergence of opportunity, mission, and space to innovate, the 2020 QuaRUNtine engaged over 200 supporters and raised $125K in just two weeks with support from RWC, providing critical funds for nearly 50 incoming 5th graders to begin their Breakthrough Scholar journey. Kendra recalls, “People, no matter where they were in the world, were joining in and really excited about it. So we thought here’s a benefit of us not being able to do something in person that we can raise money around and get the word out to a broader audience.”
John and his partners at RWC continue to support the race as lead sponsor. Karlee encourages Breakthrough supporters to start or join a team today and stay engaged on social media to bring awareness to Breakthrough’s mission of advancing educational equity, and the importance of mindfulness and healthy living.