Member Profile

Breakthrough Manchester at Derryfield School

The dual missions of Breakthrough Manchester are to launch promising Manchester middle school students, particularly those with limited opportunities, on the path to college while inspiring high school and college students to pursue careers in education. 

We do this by:

Recruiting and selectively admitting high-potential sixth graders with limited opportunities from Manchester middle schools for a tuition-free, six-year program
Providing three rigorous, joyful academic summers and school year supports on the Derryfield campus
Connecting students with Breakthrough's College Bound program at Southern New England University for mentoring and skill-building during high school years
Recruiting, training, mentoring and supporting college students, and some local high-achieving high school students, as excellent teachers
Engaging a broad array of stakeholders in understanding, promoting, funding and championing both missions of Breakthrough. 
A partnership between the Manchester community and The Derryfield School, Breakthrough Manchester was founded in 1991 as “Summerbridge Manchester.”  In its 27th year – with a name which reflects the year-round nature of today's program - Breakthrough Manchester is a tuition-free, college-preparatory program for promising but underserved middle school students and a teacher-training program for high-achieving high school and college students. Featuring intensive summer sessions and school-year Saturday enrichment, Breakthrough Manchester has supported the academic success of over 1,000 Manchester students while recruiting, training and challenging more than 800 college and high-school students from across the city and country to pursue careers in education. 

We welcome community members to experience our award-winning program first-hand to meet our hard-working students and high-energy teachers. Please call us at 603.641.9426 to learn more about Breakthrough Manchester and set up a visit!

Breakthrough’s spirit persevered! Despite the odds working against us with the onset of COVID-19, Breakthrough, like Derryfield, was able to pivot to a virtual program for the summer of 2020. In partnership with the Breakthrough National Collaborative and Derryfield School, we brought our students an epic summer of virtual programming and community building. We were there for our students and families when they needed us most! 

The academically rigorous six-week summer program is the foundation of Breakthrough’s six-year, tuition-free, college access program. Each week was filled with four mornings of academic adventures in a synchronous classroom ranging from Chemistry labs on water pollution to literature debates featuring the characters in Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun. Every Friday brought virtual community building activities and friendly competition including some time-honored favorites like Olympics day, the Boston field trip, and visits to colleges like Cornell, Duke, and UVM. Every day was book-ended with advisory where students and Teaching Fellows connected and were able to laugh, listen, and learn together! Our Teaching Fellows (students themselves, mostly education majors at colleges across the country) are role models for success and not only empower our students with academic skills, but also build leadership, resilience, advocacy, and perseverance skills.

Four years ago, Breakthrough Manchester partnered with Southern New Hampshire University to expand our three-year program and create a six-year seamless path to college for our students. The spring of 2020 brought our program full circle as we recognized our first class of graduating high school seniors, a number of whom were honored to speak at their respective graduations!

We are thrilled with the outcomes of our College-Bound Pioneers! These nine seniors submitted 83 applications to 46 different colleges and received 63 acceptances. Each of these students was accepted into at least three schools! ALL of our seniors are now beginning their journeys as college freshmen! Their potential is inspiring! They exude the spirit of Breakthrough and we can’t wait to track their college successes and how they make their marks on the world beyond!

Check out our website:

or Like us on Facebook: 

or call us at 603-641-9426

Breakthrough Manchester is a program hosted by the Derryfield School.  While the school provides very generous in-kind supports, including the use of their beautiful campus, at no cost,  our programs are entirely community-supported through gifts and grants.

Posted on: Wednesday, September 9, 2020

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