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  • Applying

    to Breakthrough
The Breakthrough Admissions Committee selects students who are bright and inquisitive, and a class that is economically, ethnically, racially, and religiously diverse. Special consideration is given to those applicants with limited economic means. While Breakthrough students come from different backgrounds, they are all avid learners. They apply themselves to challenges, respond with openness to new ideas and experiences, and see the teaching staff and other students as new friends and co-learners.

Students interested in Breakthrough at Norfolk Academy must participate in an application process, which includes essays, teacher recommendations, and a personal interview. When students enroll the summer before their seventh-grade year, they make a three-year commitment. Students and graduates of the program are enrolled in honors and advanced placement courses at local public schools, local independent schools, and out-of-state boarding schools. The vast majority of Breakthrough graduates go on to attend a four-year college or university.

New Student Applications for the Summer Session are made available on this site and in the guidance departments of the Norfolk public middle schools. To be eligible for admission, students must be residents of the City of Norfolk and must currently be enrolled in the 6th grade. If selected, students commit to three consecutive years in the program. 

Breakthrough is committed to accepting students from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. We regret that more qualified students apply than there is space to admit.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • How can I apply?

    6th-grade students in the Norfolk Public Schools can get an application from their school's guidance office, by downloading one by clicking on "Apply!" at the bottom of this page, or by calling (757) 452-6834. The application deadline for the Summer 2017 is February 24, 2017.
  • Is there a cost to attend the program?

    No. The program is made possible through the generous support of many friends, businesses, and foundations.
  • When are applications due?

    Applications are due to the Guidance Counselor at your school on or before February 24, 2017.
  • When will admissions decisions be made?

    Admissions letters will be mailed by April 18, 2017. 
  • Who are the teachers?

    The teachers are talented high school and college students, from both the Hampton Roads area and across the country. Teachers apply online through Breakthrough Collaborative. Teaching at Breakthrough has been ranked as a Princeton Review Top 10 Internship for college students.
  • Are transportation and meals provided?

    Yes. Norfolk Academy provides busing to and from the program. The recipient of a federal grant for summer meals, Breakthrough is able to offer breakfast and lunch to its students, each day of the Summer Session, at no cost.
  • Do the students take field trips?

    Yes. Students take educational field trips to locations including area colleges and universities, the Virginia Marine Science Museum, and the Chrysler Museum of Art.