Give Miami Day 2015

Huge thank you to all our supporters. We had 207 individual donors who came together to raise $35,019.38  in 24 hours! 

3rd Annual Support-A-Scholar Event

Breakthrough Miami's 3rd Annual Support-A-Scholar Celebration at Sagamore, the Art Hotel, on September 26, 2015 was a success. With the generous support of our donors we were able to raise enough money to fund over 170 Scholars! These students who will now have access to excellent high-school opportunities, graduate from high school on time, and attend college.

Thank you to all of our supporters.By supporting Breakthrough Miami you are investing in a future where all bright students have an equal chance for a great education. Together, we can help these Scholars "break through" the social, cultural and economic challenges on the road to realizing their most ambitious goals in life.


Once again, we thank you for helping us change lives and create leaders.


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Career Day connects our students' dreams with a real

Breakthrough students dream of being doctors, rocket scientists, game designers, engineers, and much more. By seeing what it's like to work in Miami, they take the first step in creating a vision for their success. While their dreams may change, it is important for each student to meet people who are successful in their chosen profession.

Career Day : For more than 20 years, Breakthrough Miami has hosted a professional week during our Summer Institute in order to expose our scholars to the breadth of exciting career opportunities available to students who work hard and dream big. This year, scholars participated in Career Day on July 10th and 11th 2014. Incredibly, we met our goal of exposing 700 middle school Scholars to hundreds of professional careers by visiting 40 diverse workplaces in our community.

Breakthrough Miami proudly thanks and acknowledges its 2014 Career Day Partners. The following organizations, companies and individuals opened up their offices, their hearts and made time to help us change lives and create leaders. 


Aventura Mall

CHI Doris Ison Center

Dade Physical Therapy

Deering Estate

Fontainebleu Hotel


Gator Investments

Goldcaoast Railroad Museum

Goldman Sachs

Grossman & Roth

Haggard Law Firm

HIG Capital

Hollub Homes

Hunton and Williams

JP Morgan Chase

Judge Gladys Perez

Judge Marisa Tinkler- Mendez

Judge Otazo-Reyes

Judge Sayfie

Kauffman Rossin

Kobi Karp Architecture

Medley Police Department/Sgt. Ayala

Merrill Lynch Coral Gables

Miami Beach City Manager

Miami Children's Hospital

Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez

Miami Herald

Miami Marlins

Price Waterhouse Coopers

Regions Bank Biscayne Branch

Rivero Mestre

South Florida CARES Mentoring Movement @ Miami Innovation Center

Stearns Weaver


Turnberry Isle Resort and Club

US Attorney's Office

Wells Fargo

Williamson Cadillac

College Bound Celebration Honoring Class of 2015

Gates Millenium & Posse Foundation scholarship recipients among Breakthrough Miami's class of 2015 Outstanding Scholars recognized and over $40,000 in scholarships awarded

Miami, Florida (May 16, 2015)– Since 1991, Breakthrough Miami has been helping students reach their full academic potential. The graduating Class of 2015 is no exception:  Two Breakthrough Miami seniors have earned two of the nation's most prestigious awards, the Gates Millennium Scholarship and the Posse Scholarship.

On May 16, 2015, all 63 of Breakthrough Miami's graduating seniors gathered at Miami Theater Center for a ceremony that recognized outstanding achievements and awarded $41,000 in college scholarships funded by generous contributions from the Batchelor FoundationDade Paper Companyand the North Bay Village Optimist Club.

The event was a culmination of the scholars' eight-year commitment to Miami-Dade's  premier  tuition-free academic enrichment program that helps more than 1,100 motivated middle- and high-school students from underserved communities across  Miami-Dade County.  Breakthrough Miami students attend more than 100 public, independent and charter schools throughout the county, while participating in the enrichment program on Saturdays and during the summer.

2015 graduates will be attending University of California-Berkley, Georgia Tech, NYU, Grinnell College, FSU, Hamilton College, Clark Atlanta University, UM, FIU, Spelman College, Howard University, University of Alabama, Morehouse College, and Miami Dade Honors College, among others.

The Senior Class address was given by Gates Millennium Scholar, Shanava Saintolien, who will graduate from School of Advanced Studies with an associate degree from Miami Dade College and will attend Florida State University as a junior this fall.  She shared a quote by Michael Dell:   "As you start your journey, the first thing you should do is throw away that store-bought map and begin to draw your own." She said, "Our time at Breakthrough Miami will be measured not only by the academic gains, but in all the friendships, it's our time now." 

Just 1,000 students out of 57,000 applicants nationally receive the Gates award, which provides funding for both undergraduate and graduate studies.   Shanava shared the Outstanding Achievement Award for her senior class with Pascal Dafinis, who will graduate from Miami Country Day School and will attend Hamilton College on a Posse Scholarship.    

Students from low-income backgrounds are far less likely to graduate high school on time and attend college than more affluent peers.   Nationally, only 26% of high-achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds graduate four-year degrees.     For the past three years, 100% of Breakthrough Miami Scholars graduated high school on time, and 98% have gone on to post-secondary programs, the vast majority in four-year programs. 


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2015 St Thomas Alumni 5K/FUN RUN
Coach Spo Academy Hosts Breakthrough Miami

By Megan Inglis

On Saturday, December 13, the Erik Spoelstra Basketball Academy (ESBA) hosted a clinic for students from Breakthrough Miami. The ESBA Coaches, along with Spoelstra, treated the Breakthrough Miami participants to an afternoon filled with fun, drills and a bit of chalk talk.

Breakthrough Miami provides an academic enrichment program that uses a students-teaching-students model to ensure that motivated, under-resourced middle-school students have access to high-school opportunities, graduate from high school on time, and attend college. Because of the program, in 2013, 100 percent of Breakthrough Miami high school seniors graduated on time and 98 percent of them enrolled in colleges or universities. The organization focuses on identifying children's passions and goals while using education as a means to reach them.

When asked about Breakthrough Miami, Coach Spoelstra stressed the importance of supporting such an outstanding program:  "Obviously, basketball is a huge passion of mine, but education is right up there with it. Breathrough Miami is an organization that we've wanted to partner with for a while. It is an amazing organization that provides educational opportunities for kids that do not have them. They encourage kids to follow their dreams while giving them the tools to make them happen. For us to be a part of that, even in a small way, is a privilege."

Spoelstra and the other coaches ran the kids through layup lines, dribbling drills and defensive workouts, offering hands-on guidance to the young athletes. "Coaching these kids reminds me of when I was their age. For whatever reason, basketball struck a cord with me and being involved in the game became a dream of mine. Being able to share that with the kids out here is very special. Watching them get excited about what that round ball can do, it's just fun to watch," said Spoelstra.

To learn more about Breakthrough Miami, please visit And, to learn more about the Erik Spoelstra Basketball Academy, visit 

Breakthrough Gives Back to Miami


Breakthrough Gives Back to Miami

…with one tomato seedling donated to community gardens

 for each of the nonprofit's 221 #GiveMiamiDay contributors


On Saturday, December 6, 2014, Carrollton School of the Sacred HeartBreakthrough Miami  donated 221 tomato seedling plants to Health in the Hood, one of its community partners.    The organization's contribution was to honor the 221 individuals who donated to Breakthrough Miami on#GiveMiamiDay2014.

On November 20, 2014, Breakthrough Miami participated in #GiveMiamiDay2014, the Miami Foundation's 24-hour online giving event.   In one day, Breakthrough Miami's 221 individual donors  raised $44,125 for the academic enrichment program that serves more than 1,100 under-served youth across Miami-Dade County.  Now, through a generous matching gift from Paul DiMare of DiMare Fresh, Breakthrough Miami is donating one seedling for each of its GiveMiamiDay donors.  

Breakthrough Miami's eight-year, tuition free, program uses a students-teaching-students model to provide  its Scholars with the academic  tools, educational opportunities and peer relationships needed  to enter and thrive in rigorous high schools and competitive colleges. 


For more than two years, Breakthrough Miami Scholars and Teaching Fellows have been volunteering with Health in the Hood on community service workdays to build and maintain vegetable gardens in disadvantaged communities  throughout Miami-Dade County.  Health in the Hood's goal is to provide fresh, healthy foods, nutrition education and exercise classes in inner-city neighborhoods.

Give Miami Day 2014

Miami made history on November 20, 2014 by raising $5.2 million for 520 nonprofits in 24 hours. Thank you for being a part of this incredible demonstration of the kindness and generosity found in our city. Breakthrough Miami came in 6th place with 221 unique donors, who raised $44,125.

If happiness is the key to success—which we believe it is— then Breakthrough Miami's #GiveMiamiDay 2014 was a huge success!  Our happiness was found in the diverse list of individuals who donated. #GiveMiamiDay 2014 donors included former Breakthrough students, Breakthrough board members, site school staff, parents of Breakthrough students, Breakthrough staff, a Breakthrough founder,community partners, student volunteers, Teaching Fellows, long-time supporters, first-time donors and relatives and friends of all of the above. Donors gave from 6 different states and we covered Florida from Homestead to Gainesville!!  221 examples that it does "take a village".

A special thank you to Amy Steinhour and Grey Bryan, who dedicated countless hours and their amazing talent in planning, creating and executing all of our communications in the weeks leading up to and on GiveMiamiDay. 

Black's Gala 2014

On October 25, 2014, 740 guests turned out for the Black's Annual Gala in support of Breakthrough Miami and Teach for America. Lea & Roy Black, The Mariano Foundation and other generous sponsors turned the Sparkle Ballroom at the Fontainebleau Hotel into a magical setting for a night of dinner, dancing, entertainment and fundraising.  Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, was the headliner and everyone including notables, Courtney Love, Gloria & Emilio Estefan, Swizz Beatz, Nick Loeb, Charlie Crist, Helio Castroneves, Flo Rida, Karen Mills-Francis, and Alberto Carvalho had a great time for a great cause. Breakthrough Miami guests included Jeffrey Miller, Stuart Miller, Diane Davis, Liz & Eric Feder, Robin & Heidi Bogle, Lenni & Tom Webber, Julie& Brett Dill, Karen & Jonathan Fryd, Sheryl Piper, Lana & Michael Bernstein, Monica & James Goldsmith, Allison & Jorge Freeland, Melissa & Taylor White, Jamie & Jon Bourbeau, Anshu & Nitin Motwani.

Click here to view photo gallery

2nd Annual Support-A-Scholar Celebration

Breakthrough Miami's 2nd Annual Support-A-Scholar Celebration brought together supporters fromCarrollton School of the Sacred Heart, Miami Country Day School, Palmer Trinity School, Ransom Everglades School and University of Miami for a magical evening at Wynwood Walls. Guests enjoyed food and drinks provided by Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, Sushi Maki, and Bacardi. Art lovers bid on collaborative artwork created by Breakthrough Scholars and artists Brandon Opalka, Santiago Rubino, Ryan the Wheelbarrow, and Marcie Ziv.  Rosa and Carlos de La Cruz donated an art piece from their private collection. Judge Marilyn Milian introduced three performances by Breakthrough Miami Scholars and Teaching fellows.  Nearly 500 supporters gathered to support the academic enrichment program that is helping nearly 1,200 of Miami –Dade's best and brightest overcome their challenges on the path to college.  

College Bound Celebration Honoring Class of 2014

On May 10, 2014, Breakthrough Miami awarded an unprecedented $28,000 in college scholarships to a total of 14 Breakthrough Scholars, thanks to generous contributions from the Batchelor Foundation, Dade Paper Company, and the North Bay Village Optimist and Octagon Clubs.  The awards ceremony recognized all 45 outstanding scholars in the 2014 the Breakthrough Miami senior class  for their commitment to Miami's premier eight-year, tuition-free academic enrichment program that serves more than 1,100 motivated and under-served middle and high school students in Miami-Dade County.  


Come party with Donald And Lisa Pliner and view the spring 2014 collection

Thanks Donald, great event!! 

Come party with Donald And Lisa Pliner and
view the spring 2014 collection

Sunday, March 9th
12 - 5pm

Dadeland Mall
7535 N Kendall DR #2424
Miami, FL 33156


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