On Saturday, August 5, Breakthrough hosted our annual Trunk Party. A trunk party is a celebration for a student going to college during which guests fill the students’ “trunk” with all the items they need to live on campus. Breakthrough’s Trunk Party provided college essentials for 80 high school graduates from Garfield Park.

These students have been accepted to colleges across the country. However, it costs about $1,000 to outfit a dorm, and this cost is not covered by scholarships or financial aid. With the help of generous donors and volunteers, Breakthrough supported students with essentials, such as linens, toiletries, and school supplies.

80 College-Bound Students Celebrated and Supported at Trunk Party 1

As students and their families arrived at the Trunk Party, Lisa Gwin, Chief Program Officer of the Breakthrough Youth Network, shared encouragement: “You are taking strides that are exceptional, although difficult at times. You are beating the statistics, rising above, and heading off to college and Breakthrough is here to support you.”

The Trunk Party is one of the ways the Breakthrough Beyond program partners with youth ages 14-24. The program also offers college scholarships, employment opportunities, mentoring, financial literacy workshops, and behavioral health services. Breakthrough is committed to the success of Garfield Park’s youth as they navigate adulthood.

“Our relationship with you does not end here today. It’s just another step in your journey and in your partnership with Breakthrough,” Lisa said.

We are grateful for this opportunity to celebrate students and the individuals in their lives who have supported their success. As these young adults move into their dorm rooms, we hope the items around them serve as a tangible reminder of the community standing behind them and cheering them on.

Click here to view the event photo album.