Fort Worth native Rudi Flores, 34, was a student of Breakthrough Fort Worth in 2002 and 2003. He graduated from the program and pursued a radio career after studying at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Flores returned to Breakthrough Fort Worth, an academic summer program for public middle and high school students, as the director of operations at Fort Worth Country Day, 4200 Country Day Lane.

“To be a part as long as I have, as a student in ‘02 and ‘03, and be a teacher, I see my mom and dad when I talk to the parents and I see my brothers and sisters when I see the kids,” Flores said. “I see the opportunity that they’re reaching for and what parents want for their kids.”

Breakthrough Fort Worth is a free-of-charge six-week-long program that provides resources like college readiness courses, classes in subjects that students will attend in school and exam readiness courses. There are 267 students in the program’s 2022 class.

Generally, Flores and other directors showcase the program at schools, then students take applications home to their parents — giving the student the opportunity to initiate interest in the program, Flores said.

As sixth graders, the students apply, write an essay and interview.

Then the rising seventh-graders participate in the program through middle and high school.

“You meet them as shy kids who get introduced through their parents. And as they get older, you figure out this confidence that’s just really incredible,” Flores said. “They’re fighting for themselves and advocating for ‘This is what I want’ and ‘This is what I need.’ It’s a beautiful thing to see.”

Flores said it’s difficult to describe the program and what students get out of it in words.

“There’s just a magic about it,” he said.

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian ArguetaSoto

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. He can be reached at cristian.arguetasoto@fortworthreport.org or (817) 317-6991.