Nearly 100 Hollis Innovation Academy middle school students will have opportunity to attend college prep summer program for free
The Chick-fil-A Foundation and Breakthrough Atlanta are pleased to announce a new collaboration with Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy, an Atlanta Public School (APS) serving students pre-K-8 in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhood.
The partnership — the first of its kind for Breakthrough — will create the opportunity for 90 of Hollis’ rising seventh, eighth and ninth graders (30 from each grade level) to attend Breakthrough’s six-week summer program over the next three years for free. In addition, the students will be given the opportunity to attend Breakthrough’s Saturday programming throughout the school year.
“There is often a disparity in educational enrichment opportunities, such as summer programming, for students who live in underserved communities,” said Carol Waddy, senior leader, Community Affairs for Chick-fil-A. “We are proud to support a partnership that will positively impact the lives of these Hollis students, put them on a pathway to bridge the gap of economic inequality, and help them achieve their educational and career goals.”
Through the partnership, Hollis students will attend six weeks of rigorous academic summer programming on the campus of The Lovett School. This year’s summer program runs from June 11 through July 27, and a total of 310 students from across Atlanta will attend.
The college prep curriculum is STEM-focused and closely aligns with the standards being taught at Hollis. Additionally, Breakthrough students are taught by teaching fellows, who are summer interns from top colleges and universities around the country. Many of these fellows are also first-generation college students.
“By serving middle school students during the summer months, remaining committed to them through high school and college matriculation, and employing exceptional teaching fellows, the Chick-fil-A Foundation and Breakthrough are equipping Hollis students with the necessary tools and resources to succeed in school, college and beyond,” said Monique Shields, executive director of Breakthrough.
The Breakthrough class of 2017 had 100 percent high school graduation rate and 94 percent of those graduates are now enrolled in college.
“This program will provide incredible opportunities for our middle school students that will extend far beyond the summer,” said Dr. Diamond Jack, principal of Hollis. “We’re grateful to the Chick-fil-A Foundation for their continued partnership and support.”
The Chick-fil-A Foundation has partnered with APS to implement many initiatives at Hollis since the school was founded in 2016. In addition to sponsoring students for the Breakthrough program, the Chick-fil-A Foundation helped fund a school-centered health clinic; co-founded the Hollis Kingz mentoring program; renovated the school’s cafeteria and teachers’ lounge; launched an All-Girls Coding Technovation team; led a hospitality and service training session for student ambassadors; and co-funded an innovative literacy program for elementary school teachers.