A consequence of the widening income gap in the United States is its effects on education in underserved communities. It is widely believed that education is an important stepping stone for financial and personal success. However, as it has been widely documented, students from underserved communities are not being afforded the same opportunities as their peers in more affluent communities. Since 1978, Breakthrough Collaborative has tirelessly worked to increase academic opportunities for highly motivated, underserved students while inspiring and developing the next generation of teachers. To date, tens of thousands of students and teachers have benefited from Breakthrough Collaborative's programs. Breakthrough offers underserved youth intensive summer programs that focus on developing study skills, public speaking and leadership, while mastering subjects like math and science. Breakthrough Collaborative is one of the few organizations that not only focuses on students but spends a great deal time training aspiring and professional teachers. Seventy-five percent of high-school and college students who have attended their nine-week teaching residency for aspiring teachers have become professional educators.
College Track, another successful organization with a successful track record, works with students from underserved communities throughout high school and college. College Track provides a 10-year program for students to eliminate any barrier that may prevent their students from earning their college degree. They provide comprehensive academic support, leadership training, scholarships, and financial and college advising. College Track students are two and half times more likely to earn a four year university degree compared to their peers. An astonishing 92 percent of their high school seniors have been accepted to a four year university. To date, College Track has helped over 2,000 high school and college across the country. The HAND Foundation is a proud sponsor of College Track and we encourage our readers to learn more about them and Breakthrough Collaborative as they work to bridge the education gap in underserved communities.