Breakthrough Atlanta raised more than $460K at its seventh annual—and record-breaking— Fund-A-Scholar event. Funds raised surpassed any previous year’s event and exceeded last year’s total by nearly 20%.

Nearly 500 people came together at The Foundry at Puritan Mall on November 2 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 more than 180 students to participate in 2023.

“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 Chief Executive Officer. “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.”

College is transformative not only for the students who attend, but also for their families and communities. Breakthrough Atlanta helps students and their families overcome education disparities and close inequity gaps, making college accessible and attainable. Through its transformative summer and yearlong programming and support, Breakthrough shows that college—and a lifetime of success—is well within reach. Having a clear pathway to college—especially for first-generation college students—opens the door to endless possibilities and inspires generations of leaders and change makers among us.  

For eighth grader Maziah Lanes, a current Breakthrough Atlanta scholar who will become the first in her family to graduate from college, college has been a dream for as long as she can remember. She says her experience with Breakthrough is helping prepare her academically, but it’s also helping her prepare in other ways.

“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. I feel like in college you’re going to have to open yourself up to different techniques, different opportunities and different people.” 

Maziah added, “I’m so excited to go to college.”

Breakthrough Atlanta’s success is possible because of the generosity of the community, including those who made this year’s Fund-A-Scholar event a success. We would like to thank the event co-chairs Rebecca Brodnan Smith and Meg O’Keefe, the committee, sponsors, Breakthrough’s Board of Directors, and donors for helping to meet needs and provide opportunities for underserved students throughout metro Atlanta. We would also like to thank Neiman Marcus as our presenting sponsor and Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles as our media sponsor.

Our mission: Breakthrough Atlanta fulfills 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. For more information about Breakthrough Atlanta or to support its mission, visit