James Barker
Teaching Fellow, 2018-2019 (Somerville Campus)


Tell us about one way in which Breakthrough shaped your path?
Breakthrough played a huge role in shaping my career path. I came into my first summer completely unsure of what I wanted to do in life, and I left knowing that I wanted to work in schools. My two summers in Somerville were fantastic from beginning to end–I got to work alongside awesome teachers, learned from the best mentors and supervisors I could ask for, and got to spend my summers working with amazing students. I am now in graduate school pursuing a career as a school counselor, and that decision came about in no small part because of my amazing time at Breakthrough.

How do you carry Breakthrough spirit with you today?
More than anything else, I think the level of enthusiasm I bring into my work comes straight from Breakthrough. I don’t break out into a power chant in the middle of school these days, but the unmatched energy level at Breakthrough has really shaped my personality as a counselor. Breakthrough’s focus on celebrating students’ positive achievements has stuck with me as well. That’s something that is often sorely missing in schools.