Golden Ticket to Harvard!
New Hampshire Gives
Reach for the Stars - Visit this Summer!
Celebrating 30 Years of Breakthroughs!
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!
Breakthrough’s Impact
As a Breakthrough student, one of the most impactful moments for Chau was working with her 6th-grade advisor, Phuong. It was the first time, Chau ever had a teacher who looked like her. Phuong was the first teacher who reached out to Chau’s parents, even going out of her way to brush up on her Vietnamese so she could connect with them over the phone. Having an Asian American as a teacher made Chau realize she could do this too! 

As a Breakthrough Teaching Fellow, Chau recalls one student who clearly did not want to be there that first week of the summer program. She would not do work and looked disinterested during cheers and class. Over the course of that first week, teachers went above and beyond to connect with this student and made sure she was seen and heard every day. Over the following weeks, she really blossomed as a student and Chau felt incredibly privileged to quite literally witness her growth. This student shone as a spirit stick winner by the end of the summer!

As Breakthrough Program Director, Chau embraced the importance of making connections in the community and meeting students and families where they are. COVID offered the opportunity to do this, quite literally, at their homes as school supplies were personally delivered for summer 2020. Moving forward in education Chau will take this to heart and make a point to survey the community and the people she serves to get to know them. 
Chau’s Legacy
Chau leaves a legacy of DEI and belonging at Breakthrough Manchester having created safe spaces for students to learn and practice those ideas. She prides herself on being really intentional about creating policies and ways to approach things through an equitable lens. One example is restorative circles, an approach to discipline putting behavioral issues in the hands of the student. This gives the student ownership over their actions and allows them the space to understand how and why something happened. The same carries over to Teaching Fellows with an emphasis on taking teachers’ voices and ideas and incorporating them into professional development workshops and Windows & Mirrors presentations.

Although bittersweet, we are so excited and proud Chau will be strengthening her skillset with the pursuit of an MEd in Education Policy and Analysis at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. With a passion for education, Chau is interested in how organizations like Breakthrough, Upward Bound, and City Year fit into the big picture and contribute to the school districts they’re serving with regard to policy. This area of growth will give her work more context as she studies the direct impact these programs have on students in the classroom. As a Breakthrough student, Chau is ready to embrace her study of education policy and analysis by practicing the Breakthrough Norm, “Lean into Discomfort!”

Breakthrough Manchester is better for having Chau as part of our program for the past ?? years, and she will always be part of our Breakthrough family. We wish her the very best as she “Reaches for the Stars.” in all her future endeavors!
Consider supporting Breakthrough Manchester
as we launch our 31st summer! 

Breakthrough Manchester is excited to be a part of NH Gives again this year! NH Gives celebrates philanthropy and rallies support for the many inspirational nonprofits that work tirelessly to make New Hampshire a better place to live!
Please support Breakthrough or any of our state’s phenomenal nonprofits anytime from 5:00 p.m. June 7th until 5:00 p.m. June 8th. Visit NHGives!
This is the first summer Breakthrough will be fully back on campus in THREE years and we can’t wait to “Reach for the Stars!”
Thank you for believing in Breakthrough and
New Hampshire nonprofits!
Reach for the Stars!
Visit us this summer!
Visitor Days are Back! Join us this summer to experience the Breakthrough Spirit and kick off your day with cheers and a little bit of learning!
Join us the morning of:

Thursday, July 7
Tuesday, July 12
Thursday, July 21
Tuesday, July 26
Tuesday, August 2

*These dates, don't work?
Reach out to visit another time!