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The hallmark of Breakthrough is the Students Teaching Students model. Every year, Breakthrough trains talented high school and college students to serve as teachers in our Summer Academy and School Year Program. Breakthrough teachers receive extensive training in curriculum design, classroom management, and adolescent development, as well as support and feedback from professional teachers. 

Breakthrough teachers come from some of the top high schools and colleges in New Orleans and around the country. Local high school and college students from Isidore Newman, Lusher, St. Martin's, Ben Franklin, and Tulane teach in both Breakthrough's School Year Program and Summer Academy. Out-of-town college students come from such schools as University of Virginia, Harvard University, Duke University, Brown University, University of North Carolina, and Macalester College.

Breakthrough teachers make an enormous impact on their students, and learn as much as they teach. After teaching in the 2009 Breakthrough New Orleans Summer Academy:

  • 79% of teachers reported that they are more interested in/committed to entering the field of education.
  • 93% of teachers reported that they have become advocates for educational reform and equity for all children.

What the Teachers Say

"I learned that to make an impact, the workday never runs from just 9-5. I learned that when encouraged and prodded and pushed, kids will work harder than anyone expects them to.  And also, from a shout out during All School Meetings, I learned that the fourth chamber of the heart is the chamber of secrets."    
Seth Rushton, Tulane University '10, 8th grade English teacher

"At Breakthrough, I learned that determination isn't about how far you can go without crashing. It's about how many times you can crash but still get up and keep walking."         
Michael Nguyen, Jesuit High School '11, 6th grade Math teacher

"I'm definitely doing this again next year… my students' abilities were beyond the (predictions) set for them… As I established and modified the expectations to fit my students, they repeatedly reached beyond these expectations."
David Yang, University of Washington at St. Louis '13, 6th grade Science teacher

"This summer was a memorable and demanding experience. Through the program, I gained self confidence and realized just how much I am capable of doing. The 31 teachers I worked with, the administration, and the students were who really made this summer an amazing one."
Elizabeth Twomey, Isidore Newman '11, 7th grade Science teacher


For more information about teaching at Breakthrough, please email us directly or visit

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©2009 Breakthrough New Orleans
1903 Jefferson Avenue
New Orleans LA 70115
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