SUBMITTED BY JENNIFER GRECO
On Feb. 20, Breakthrough Kent Denver celebrated 25 years of closing the opportunity gap at the Give Your Love to Breakthrough Gala.
Guests for the evening enjoyed delicious food and were entertained by Kent Denver’s own Quincy Avenue Rhythm Band. Both silent and live auction items were bid on throughout the evening, raising money for Breakthrough’s program.
Margot and Marc Pinto were honored as the first recipients of the Breakthrough Inspiration Award. “Your family has unwaveringly committed to our students and teachers,” said Sarah Dutcher, executive Director of Breakthrough. “You show up to stuff envelopes, to interview new students, to set up the Gala, to speak to new parents. When I think of philanthropists, I think of you.”
The guest speaker for the evening was Ezzard Gadson. Ezzard was a Breakthrough student and came back during college as a Breakthrough teacher. He is the first in his family to graduate college, receiving the Daniels Fund Scholarship to attend Howard University and then going on to earn his MBA from San Diego State. He is currently the Career and College Success Operations Manager for Denver Public Schools.
“Hope. Most kids who came from my neighborhood, we just needed hope. We needed to believe there was more in this world than the circumstances that we were birthed into,” said Gadson. “Breakthrough gave me the light that I needed to grow.”
Gadson went on to say that “Breakthrough is where he discovered the value of education. It’s also where I accepted a truth about myself. That I actually love school and I was proud to be a high achiever.”
Breakthrough Kent Denver works to both increase the educational and social opportunities of motivated, financially under-resourced middle and high school students in both Englewood Public Schools and Denver Public Schools, as well as motivate and train talented college students for careers in education.
“Tonight, we are going to show our support for these students who make a six-year commitment to this program, who wake up in the summer and take a bus sometimes all the way from Green Valley Ranch to get more academic opportunity. To our Teaching Fellows who work from 7:45 am to 5:30 pm for nine weeks over the summer so they can be better educators. We are here at this fundraiser to ensure that the community that has affected so many people continues for our current students and teachers,” said Dutcher.
Breakthrough serves 179 middle school students and 190 high school students from over 60 Denver Public Schools and Englewood Public Schools. For the past eight years, 100% of Breakthrough high school seniors graduated, and in 2019, 89% went on to institutions of higher education.
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |