A Golden Ticket to Harvard University
In 5th grade, Chau Ngo got her golden ticket - a hall pass to go to the library to learn about Summerbridge, known today as Breakthrough Manchester. Chau was so excited about this opportunity she hurried home to complete her application, thus beginning her Breakthrough journey from McLaughlin Middle School to Harvard University!
A painfully shy student at the time, Chau is now a compassionate, composed leader and advocate for educational equity. She now sees the impact of Breakthrough’s push for students to speak up, advocate for themselves, and lean into discomfort - “to be goofy and be comfortable doing it!”
Chau was blown away on her first day of Breakthrough when Trevor, Program Director at the time, shook her hand and said, “Good Morning, Chau” without mispronouncing her name! Making sure each student is seen and heard in their own unique way is a tenet that still resonates today in Chau’s philosophy of education. Chau goes above and beyond to remember little snippets about students and connect with them in meaningful ways.
Over her Breakthrough journey, Chau has experienced every facet of this and other local programs focused on educational equity:
- 2 years as a Summerbridge student
- City Year Young Heroes
- Star Academy at Summerbridge
- Upward Bound at UNH Durham
- Breakthrough School Year Teaching Intern - 2011-2012
- Teaching Fellow - summer of 2017 - taught literature and co-taught painting class
With the consistent support Chau received from Breakthrough, it felt comfortable for her to circle back senior year to reconnect with the program and ask for help with her college essay and the college process. Chau attributes her success in the college process to Breakthrough and specifically Tina White.
After graduating from Mass College of Art and Design, Chau received a Fulbright scholarship and spent that next year teaching English at a high school for gifted students in Vietnam. When she started looking for a job that spring, she discovered the Program Director position at Breakthrough Manchester. After an initial interview over Skype from Vietnam, Chau met Deb McLoud, Susan Grodman, and other key players the day after returning home and they hired their dream candidate for her dream job!