Lasting change takes time. It requires assembling and supporting a team of stellar staff and supporters and working together through myriad challenges. This culture of excellence and collaboration ultimately benefits our kids and teachers.

In the last eight years, Andy Shin has doggedly pursued the improvement and transformation of Breakthrough San Francisco, an organization that supports young people in San Francisco on the path to college and trains outstanding college students for education careers. Breakthrough San Francisco is a community involvement initiative of San Francisco Day School (a co-educational independent school) and one of twenty-four national affiliates of the Breakthrough Collaborative.

During his tenure as Executive Director for Breakthrough San Francisco, Andy has successfully shifted the organization from a two-year program to an eight-year program, drastically improved program quality, and more than doubled the organization’s budget.

The organization currently serves 219 students—99 percent of whom are students of color and 85 percent of whom are potential first-generation college students. Students join the program as fourth graders from San Francisco Unified School District elementary schools and commit to eight years of intensive, year-round enrichment that includes academic classes, tutoring, school guidance, and special opportunities like career exploration and outdoor education.

In San Francisco, data suggests that only one in three potential first-generation college students attain any kind of higher education, and Breakthrough San Francisco’s ambitious goal is to send at least 90 percent of its students to four-year colleges in the spring of 2018.

In his work to lead the mission, vision, and goals of Breakthrough San Francisco, Andy has:

  • Improved the outcomes of Breakthrough San Francisco significantly enough from 2009 to 2011 to gain a unanimous approval vote for program expansion.

  • Grown the organization’s budget from $301,805 (FY09) to $781,000 (FY17).

  • Ensured 73 percent of Breakthrough students start eighth grade algebra ready, according to their performance on the STAR exam.

  • Placed 97 percent of eighth graders (over the last three years) in college-prep high schools, an essential step towards bachelor’s degree attainment.

  • Helped 68 percent of Breakthrough San Francisco Teaching Fellows—who’ve graduated from college in the last five years—commit to a career in the education sector, most as urban public school teachers.