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This likeness of Martin Luther King Jr., painted by nationally-renowned artist Rob Surette, hangs in the Breakthrough Manchester office as a reminder of courage, leadership, dignity and equal rights.
Lessons in Courage
On this beautiful, cold Sunday morning, I have just finished re-reading Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," one of the seminal documents in our country's history of civil rights.  As I contemplate King's life and legacy, I am struck again by his intelligence, eloquence and humanity as well as the courage, leadership and sacrifice that he and so many others brought to the struggle for dignity and equal rights.   

MLK Day provides each of us an opportunity to reflect on the way we live our lives, our values and the ways we contribute to and celebrate our humanity.  The following passages from King's letter, written fifty-five years ago, provide a lens through which to consider our own individual and collective commitments to civil rights and the dignity of all people. 

"We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny."

"....go beyond the superficial social analyst who looks merely at effects and does not grapple with underlying causes."

" men to rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood."

"The great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is...the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice..."

"Like a boil that can never be cured as long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its pus-flowing ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must likewise be exposed, with all the tensions it creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured."

"We will have to repent in this generation, not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people."

"Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity."

"One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for the best of the American dream and the most sacred of values in our Judeo-Christian heritage, and thusly, carrying our whole nation back to the great wells of democracy..."

"Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow, the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all of their scintillating beauty."

Our Commitment
We take pride in the rich tapestry of race, country of origin, language, religion and culture that our Breakthrough students represent, and we affirm the worth and dignity of all people. 

In honor of MLK, we re-commit ourselves to our joint humanity - to uplift rather than degrade; to engage in thoughtful dialogue; to promote respect and dignity for all people; to affirm that the time to do right is always now; to raise our voice and our conscience in the face of injustice. 

Thank you for your partnership as we "carve a tunnel of hope" and opportunity for students who hold such optimism and potential for the future.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of Breakthrough Manchester's Executive Director, and do not necessarily represent those of The Derryfield School.  
Our Mission
Our Vision
All young people, regardless of circumstance, can achieve their full potential as students, teachers and leaders.

Our Mission
The dual missions of Breakthrough Manchester are to launch promising Manchester middle school students, particularly those with limited opportunities, on the path to college while inspiring high school and college students to pursue careers in education.

We do this by:
* Recruiting and selectively admitting high-potential sixth graders with limited opportunities from Manchester middle schools for a tuition-free, three-year program
* Providing three rigorous, joyful academic summers and school year supports to admitted students during their middle school years
* Connecting ninth graders with the Breakthrough College-Bound program at Southern NH University to create a seamless pipeline of opportunity 
* Recruiting, training, mentoring and supporting college students, and some local high-achieving high school students, as excellent teachers
* Engaging a broad array of stakeholders in understanding, promoting, funding and championing both missions of Breakthrough. 

With thanks,

Becky Berk
Executive Director
Breakthrough Manchester