Breakthrough is a great Austin feedback loop: free summer education for kiddos that also creates an army of passionate teachers. Seventh graders from families with a variety of risk factors (like poverty or single parenting) come to learn math, writing, art history, Swahili, physics, theatre, and to acquire an unabashed love of learning. Their teachers are college students at UT, or high school students who apply from around the country. Breakthrough is a national program, but Austin does it in special style. The program includes summer sessions at UT, school-year mentoring, and a six-year committment to students. How many of us make a six-year committment to anything, much less to making sure that kids who might otherwise be forgotten instead are challenged to develop their intellectual gifts? And, this program is free, yo!
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