LETTERS FROM ALUMNI SERIES, 2016
TERRANCE REYNOLDS, E PREP CLIFFS ALUMNI

I am writing to tell you a little bit about where I am in life now thanks to the education I received at Breakthrough Schools.

I was born and raised in Cleveland. Before going to Breakthrough, I attended several other primary schools but did not stay because of the location, or due to the lack of a quality education, or because the expenses were too much for my family to afford.

Now, I’m 20 years old and set to graduate early with my bachelor’s degree in interactive media and marketing from Ohio University. I’m finishing my last semester studying business and marketing abroad at Hong Kong Baptist University. Next year I will be working to develop a digital marketing and web design company called Jetpack Group I helped to cofound this past summer.

A quality education helped me to understand the world around me. It gave me the confidence and certainty that I’m prepared to accept any challenge (or opportunity) that presents itself. With a great education, it almost doesn’t matter in which neighborhood I was raised, or the tax bracket of my parents. I understand what it means to be successful and what success means to me. I know it’s risky for a college graduate in today’s world to start his own business, but I realize the more I learn, the more that risk drops.

I am proud to be graduating early from college. The education, discipline, and mentorship I received from Breakthrough Schools continue to help shape my future. Hard work means everything to me. Breakthrough taught me virtues of courage, perseverance, respect, responsibility and self-discipline. Though I cannot honestly say I knew exactly what those words meant when I was 11 years old, I live by those words today. I didn’t even know what college was back in sixth grade and sometimes I wonder if I might have gone down the wrong path if my father hadn’t enrolled me.

I fully support Breakthrough and its mission to reform education in the city of Cleveland. The students are receiving an education not just to pass a state exam, but to prepare them for the rest of their lives. It takes a village to raise a child. As a community, we need to work together with the teachers and parents to make sure that the future leaders of Cleveland are ready for tomorrow. No one person or organization can do it alone.

We need to show our students that we believe in them and they should believe in themselves. My hope is that other Cleveland kids will benefit the way I did from a quality education.