Becca Hall, Lainee Shaunessy and Jimmy Hanson all have a long history with Breakthrough Manchester: all started their Breakthrough journey as students and eventually returned as summer Operations Coordinators. In addition, both Becca and Lainee have taught for multiple summers in the program.
When asked how being a student with the Breakthrough program influenced their life, they all agreed that they would not have gone to college without Breakthrough Manchester. Becca noted that she did not have the knowledge or resources to prepare for college. At the age of 10, she had a determination to make her dream of attending college come true. Attending Breakthrough as a student gave her the tools she needed to put her on that path. Becca started teaching at the age of 16 at Breakthrough, and immediately knew that teaching was her destiny. As a Teaching Fellow, she was able to explore strategies in the classroom that she can now use as she teaches today.
Becca graduated this May from Saint Anselm College with her teaching degree, and she has just accepted a full-time position teaching at Beaver Meadow Elementary School in Concord, NH!
Lainee agreed that Breakthrough changed the course of her life. She worked hard both in school and in the Breakthrough program, was admitted to The Derryfield School with a life-changing scholarship, and has just graduated with her nursing degree from Seattle University.
Jimmy felt he grew on a personal level as a student at Breakthrough. The program offered an opportunity to learn a lot about himself and what track he wanted in life. He learned about his interests, as well as his dislikes. Jimmy is currently a student at UNH, studying Chemical Engineering.
Although Lainee and Jimmy have chosen career paths other than teaching, they both learned and developed skills that will benefit them in their future careers. Lainee wanted to teach for Breakthrough so she could be a positive role model for students, as she felt grateful for all the support her prior Breakthrough teachers had given her. She wanted to help make a difference for those students who were in similar situations that she was in growing up.
A very important role at Breakthrough during the summer is the Operations Coordinator. This role plays an integral part to the success of the summer program, coordinating many details of the program, managing the Program Assistants and serving as the logistical "glue" in a whirlwind, complex program. Lainee, Becca and Jimmy all returned to Breakthrough Manchester in this position. Jimmy is the current Operations Coordinator; he has learned a lot this summer about time management and prioritizing work. Because a typical Breakthrough day is very busy with multiple responsibilities, Jimmy has realized the value of project planning, effective delegation and crisp communication, skills that will be critical for future jobs. Although Operations Coordinators don’t teach or advise students in this position, the students and teaching fellows are part of their community, too.
Jimmy, Becca and Lainee have all made a positive impact on the Breakthrough Manchester program. As Lainee stated, “Breakthrough always draws you back. I will always stay connected because the program changed my life.” We are grateful for all the hard work and dedication all three have brought to Breakthrough Manchester and we are proud of their accomplishments.