A local nonprofit now has the funds to support more than 180 underserved Atlanta students in their journey to postsecondary success.

Breakthrough Atlanta is a nonprofit organization that helps students and their families overcome education disparities and close inequity gaps. It aims to make college accessible and attainable for everyone.

“For more than 25 years, Breakthrough Atlanta has equipped thousands of scholars to go to college, and inspired hundreds of college students to pursue careers in education,” said Monique Shields, Breakthrough Atlanta CEO.

On Nov. 2, the organization held its seventh annual Fund-A-Scholar event at the Foundry at Puritan Mall.

Monique Shields, Kerry Heyward and Neysa Dillon Brown. Credit: Breakthrough Atlanta

The event saw more than 500 people attend, donating $460,000 to the nonprofit. The record-breaking total is 20% higher than last year’s event.

The funds will be used to support more than 180 students in Breakthrough Atlanta’s 2023 program.

“Many of these scholars and teaching fellows were — or will become — the first in their families to graduate from college. For them, college means much more than a degree; it’s a dream realized that offers hope and opportunity for generations to come,” said Shields.

The life-changing, year-round education program aims to increase academic opportunity for underserved students. It aims to inspire and develop the next generation of teachers and educational leaders.

“Breakthrough Atlanta not only helps you see new things and gives you interests, but it’s taking me out of a comfortable environment because now I have to open myself up,” said Maziah Lanes, current Breakthrough Atlanta scholar.

Maziah Lanes, Breakthrough Atlanta scholar.
Maziah Lanes, Breakthrough Atlanta scholar, shares her experience with Breakthrough Atlanta. Credit: Breakthrough Atlanta

Lanes is an eighth grade student and will be the first in her family to graduate from college.

“I feel like in college you’re going to have to open yourself up to different techniques, different opportunities and different people. I’m so excited to go to college,” she added.

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