Breakthrough Collaborative Reviews | Glassdoor

Breakthrough Collaborative Reviews

Updated May 19, 2017
40 reviews

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3.5
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15 Ratings

40 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great community, passionate individuals who care about students (in 5 reviews)

  • great kids who are motivated to learn (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Long hours (expect to bring your work home with you in the evenings and on weekends) (in 15 reviews)

  • Fairly challenging as an undergraduate to balance lesson planning, behavioral management of students, advising, teaching, and activity planning (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great New York team!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Breakthrough Collaborative full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Energy and commitment to constant improvement. Flexible leadership who value each individual. Great work schedule and flexibility - they understand work life balance well - but it's up to you to clearly communicate your own needs and professional boundaries. It's hard work and some long days, but that's the reality of having a job. The work is very rewarding. Students are amazing, dedicated kids. The staff (especially the front line people) are incredibly talented and committed to the students.

    Cons

    Long hiring process. Uneven benefits (but still very generous for a nonprofit). Time off not enough compared to compensation (the usual nonprofit perk of more vacation doesn't exist here yet). In a growth phase that makes it difficult for some people to manage who don't like change or uncertainty.

    Advice to Management

    Solidify and clarify who your ideal employee is. Communicate clearly so expectations are managed in early days. Keep listening.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Greatest job ever"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Executive Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Executive Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Breakthrough Collaborative full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I have considered it to be the greatest honor and privilege of my life to have served as Executive Director of Breakthrough New York for the past 11 years. It is more than a job--it is a calling. Aside from all of the amazing young people, staff, board and supporters with whom I work, I also get to be part of a legacy that is bigger than me and also very personal.

    In addition to being the ED, I was a Breakthrough student and teaching fellow. This organization has changed my life and my trajectory and truly has formed the best parts of the person I am today: self-confident, curious, engaged, optimistic.

    What is true about our organization is that we create opportunities and access to talented, hard-working young people to fulfill their full potential in life. We want them to be successful and to be generous of heart and spirit.

    What is also true is that we have experienced 30% growth year to year over the last four years and have had growing pains. We have made some mistakes in hiring, in failing to provide the adequate support and development for early stage staff members, in asking a lot (perhaps too much at times) in meeting our ambitious goals for kids. We are working to realign our expectations, compensation, cultural competency training and learning & development support because we have heard the feedback.

    The truth is that change management is hard and sometimes painful. What I believe is that we have had well-meaning, hard-working staff members who believe in changing the world. While we are not perfect, we strive to learn and grow and to be a little bit better today than we were yesterday and even better tomorrow.

    If you are interested in being a part of something great, of being a light in the world, of choosing courage and love over fear and anger, join us.

    Executive Director
    Breakthrough New York

    Cons

    As noted above, in progress infrastructure work on policies and procedures. Norming on behaviors, expectations. Increased focus on diversity and inclusion work. More sophisticated management systems.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to focus on making this a great place to grow and develop for all staff members.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Disappointed and confused."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Breakthrough Collaborative full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good location and accessibility to trains, great community (good kids, nice parents for the most part), decent office space and program sites

    Cons

    Poor salary and benefits; no real perks that make the low wages worth it. Was hired under the guise of a flexible work schedule and being able to take time off and work from home with ease, but that is no longer the case. Real disconnect between senior staff and other employees...senior staff think the organization is doing great, while most staff members disagree and suffer silently. Not sure where the organization is headed but hoping for a change in senior leadership for the sake of the kids and the survival of the program.

    Advice to Management

    Step down and create room for a new ED and Chief of Staff. Staff (and many, many students and families) do not trust your judgment or leadership, rightfully so.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Depressing place to work — STAY AWAY !"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Breakthrough Collaborative full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The students & families, and some select staff members.

    Cons

    The only people that are happy are the members of 'senior staff.'

    No potential for growth, although during my interview I was told otherwise.

    The organization has no way of reviewing work performance of employees, all promotions are because pure favoritism or family wealth.

    TERRIBLE culture. I came at a time when a lot of staff left at the same time and there were promises that the culture would be worked on. The senior staff hired their friend to run the "culture club" (problem one) which was supposed to meet twice a month. After December, there hadn't been another one until I voiced my concern to my supervisor. (problem two)

    Senior management has no checks and balances so they feel as if they can do what ever they want to do, regardless to if it is right or wrong. They will ask for feedback and pick and choose what feedback was given and what they will actually work on.

    I was discriminated against and targeted majority of my time working here. I was asked to be "watched" by a member of the Board and senior management, I was made to do things that no other employees had to do.

    People of color are not respected and are the ones that leave the fastest because of the workplace. BTNY discriminates against black men in hiring and black women in promotions. If people of color eat together, they are in "clicks" but if white people are doing the same thing, they are just "eating lunch."

    No team work, all departments work for the sole purpose of their immediate goal not the goal of the organization.

    Came in as a flexible work schedule (which was the only benefit), left when they created a strict rule of 10 to 6 in the office. Only people allowed to work from home now, is senior management.

    Students feel as if they are "objects" to senior staff and are more of dollar signs than anything else. Students feel no genuine relationship senior management.

    BTNY seeks to create social activists among the students, but silence the identities of students, and employees that are people of color.

    BTNY is silent during the current political climate when the families we serve are directly impacted.

    The percentage of people of color at this organization is decreasing quickly.

    Problematic, negative discussions about our students and families take place often.

    Benefits are not good and the pay is on that same level—not good.

    HIGH TURNOVER-- most employees leave after one week to less than a year because of management and that being the common reason as to why people depart.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of hiring your friends or "consultants" to fix issues at BTNY, look WITHIN. Two of you are the common denominator in the high turnover and are the reasons as to why majority of the employees leave.

    Fake smiles and fake conversations does not mean there is a good culture or people actually like working here, it just means that they would rather not ruffle any feathers and have you treat them like you've treated most employees.

    Don't claim "growing pains" as to why people leave. There are approximately 11 employees which is less than it was a year again and the program has not grown since then.

    Seek out management skills. I think the lack of management skills and knowing how to treat people like humans creates the bad culture and bad work environment. If at all possible, seek a different field because the reason why you are here is very fuzzy.

    You are creating a sheep-like workplace where people will not speak up about their grievances because you target people who have valid concerns and opinions.

    The families and students are concerned as to why you can't keep people of color on staff. Maybe hire a consultant to figure that one out too?

    The high turnover does not help the students and families at all and thus, has created a decline in student/family morale, student achievement, and overall TRUST in this program.


  6. "Amazing opportunity!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Breakthrough Collaborative (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -growth minded work place
    -constant feedback on your teaching
    -good teacher training program (for the work you're doing)
    -great community of teachers
    -good professional support/development
    -interesting panels on careers inside/outside of the classroom
    -great high-the workplace

    Cons

    -It's really hard to think of one. It's definitely hard to have free time during your summer, but it's manageable!

    Advice to Management

    none!


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Stay away! Worst working experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Breakthrough Collaborative full-time

    Pros

    The students and selected co-workers made the job doable

    Cons

    I have never seen such an unprofessional, inconsiderate and greedy management team. There is no work-life balance, no room for growth and no cultural competency. Front line staff, who were all people of color, were discriminated against and were told to accept racist comments. Closed door conversations are the norm and there is a clear "inner-circle" of people who have decision making power. You have to continually watch who you socialize with, talk to or work with because it will be held against you when being considered for management positions. If you cannot bring in monetary gains for the organization, you are devalued and your work does not get recognized. Leadership has no vision for the future of this organization. Poor decisions are made frequently that ultimately serve as a detriment to not only the organization but the children they are trying to help. Working here will mentally, emotionally and physically drain you. Get out as soon as you can.

    Advice to Management

    Stop diffusing the problem through surface level conversations about "culture" without actually being determined to follow through on your word. Try to understand what the real problem is before assuming and placing blame on those who have left. When 15 people (all people of color) leave in one fiscal year, it should be clear where the issue lies.


  8. Helpful (9)

    "Racist organization that further marginalizes students of color"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Breakthrough Collaborative full-time

    Pros

    There are no pros for a company that practices hypocrisy - good values on paper but racist practices on a daily basis.

    Cons

    -Racial epithets used to refer to students on a daily basis
    -Front-line staff ordered to work at night, weekends, on their commute, etc, to meet unrealistic goals
    -Front-line staff, all people of color, constantly referred to as "field hands"
    -Front-line staff, all people of color, ordered to serve food to senior staff/board members during annual event, and not allowed to eat, drink, or sit during duration of entire event

    Here are a few quotes said to front-line staff or students by senior staff members:
    "In this country, there is a thing called professional, and natural black hair is not that."
    "I never realized you weren't white, I don't see skin color."
    "Are any of you illegals?" (speaking to a group of students)
    "Don't feel nervous, you're black and I'm sure they have a quota to fill." (speaking to a young student before his boarding school interview)

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employee concerns. When 15 members of staff leave an organization in a fiscal year, all people of color, all citing the same reasons (and persons), this should be a clear sign to management that something is awry.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Science Teacher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow in Oakland, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Breakthrough Collaborative full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Some of the most fulfilling work involving kids
    -Close, caring environment.

    Cons

    -VERY long hours as a teacher
    -Little to no overtime, as teachers tend to stay very into the day.


  10. "Teaching Fellow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Teaching Fellow in Austin, TX

    I have been working at Breakthrough Collaborative full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great team environment and people care a lot about their work. Chances to network and find jobs in similar fields

    Cons

    Poor pay, leadership sometimes doesn't know exactly how to run the program. A lot of leadership turnover

    Advice to Management

    Trying to get the same leaders and Instructional Coaches each summer might help organization and help the program run more smoothly.


  11. "Summer Teaching Residency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Riverside, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Riverside, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Breakthrough Collaborative (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Wonderful overall experience, regardless of university major. Particularly great practice if you want to go into the education field. Learn a lot of important skills that you can utilize in future jobs (collaboration, organization, time management, etc.).

    Cons

    It takes some time to get accustomed to the long hours; they may range from 8-11 hours on any given day.

    Advice to Management

    Possibly review/revise lesson plans more frequently. I taught in eighth grade literature in 2014 and several of the examples were severely outdated (e.g., Harry Potter was used frequently and out of BOTH of my classes, literally ONE student had even watched the movies).


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