Breakthrough Atlanta raised more than $390K at its 25th anniversary celebration that coincided with its annual Fund-A-Scholar event. Funds raised surpassed any previous year’s event and exceeded the organization’s goal by 20%.

Nearly 400 people came together at The Foundry at Puritan Mall on November 4 to support Fund-A-Scholar, which raises critical funds for underserved students to attend Breakthrough Atlanta’s life-changing, year-round educational programs. This year’s profits will enable nearly 155 students to participate in 2022.

“Many of our students are the first in their families to attend college, and our generous supporters help make that possible,” said Monique Shields, CEO of Breakthrough Atlanta. “When we equip students with the right tools and resources, they can set goals, succeed, and fulfill dreams.”

One Breakthrough Atlanta alum, Chris Lee, is demonstrating the power of dreams. Lee, who performed at this year’s event — including several songs with current Breakthrough Atlanta scholars — is shooting a major recurring role in the CW series, Legacies, a spin-off of The Originals. Lee also just wrapped the national tour of the smash Broadway musical, Hamilton, playing the dual role of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson.

 “Breakthrough gave me the ability to dream. It allowed me the opportunity to find things I didn’t know I was good at,” Lee said. “The first time I ever got on stage and sang in front of my peers was at a Breakthrough Atlanta summer talent show. And now that’s what I’m doing today.”

While much has changed in the last 25 years, Breakthrough Atlanta’s purpose has not. The organization continues to fulfill a dual mission to increase academic opportunity for highly motivated, underserved students and get them into college ready to succeed; and inspire and develop the next generation of teachers and educational leaders.

When the Lovett School launched the Breakthrough Atlanta program in 1996, it paved the way for  thousands of students and young adults to realize their dreams and their full potential as learners, teachers, leaders, and agents of change in their communities. The strong foundation laid by The Lovett School 25 years ago—and its ongoing support—enabled Breakthrough Atlanta to become a self-sustaining nonprofit organization in 2020.

From the board and staff members at The Lovett School who made Breakthrough a reality, to the donors and volunteers who have invested in its mission, to the partners and believers who have supported Breakthrough Atlanta along the way, the organization’s success is possible because of the generosity of the community, including those who made this year’s Fund-A-Scholar event a success. Breakthrough Atlanta would like to thank the event co-chairs, Shanna Bradley and Nikki Kasow, the host committee, sponsors, board members and donors for helping to meet needs and provide opportunities for underserved students throughout metro Atlanta.

See the event program with a complete list of supporters. See the event recording.

For more information about Breakthrough Atlanta and its 25 years of impact, or to support its mission, visit