“I talk about Breakthrough and every time, I cry…. because it has given me so much. I am starting a teaching career because of what I learned there, over the best summers of my life.” 

– Bria Watson, Founding Teaching Fellow, Somerville Campus

When a classmate mentioned Breakthrough to me during my sophomore year at Spelman College, I was intrigued. As a woman of color, I wanted to be teaching students who look like me, and could see themselves in me. My classmate told me that Breakthrough’s population is mostly students of color and low-income students, and how much he had grown over just one summer with the program. That was exactly what I wanted to hear. I applied immediately and became a founding Teaching Fellow at the new Somerville Campus.

I lived with the other Teaching Fellows, and we became forever friends. I learned, every day, over long hours, what it means to be a teacher. I fell in love with my students, who asked me, again and again, to come back for another summer. And I got support from the Breakthrough staff, especially the Somerville Director, at a level that I’d just never experienced before. Because of that support, I discovered how to regroup and adapt if my lessons didn’t work out as planned. I learned to be resourceful. And I knew that I had a group of people who would be supportive rather than critical and would give me what I needed to be successful with my students. It was life-changing.

Bria will graduate from Spelman College in May 2020, and recently accepted a graduate teaching fellowship at KIPP.