Breakthrough Trunk Party 2021 college students Garfield Park

Trunk Party 2021

Breakthrough is hosting a Trunk Party on Aug 7th for 60 high school graduates in our community headed off to college. A trunk party is a celebration for someone who is getting ready to head off to college. At the party, guests fill the student’s “trunk” with essentials for college—such as bedding, towels, toiletries, laundry supplies, and more. We are asking our Breakthrough donors and volunteers to help us throw this party and provide the items our students need as they head off to college.

DONATE

You can donate gifts in two ways:

  1. Wishlist on Target: breakthrough.org/target
  2. Wishlist (printable) breakthrough.org/trunk-party-wishlist

Gifts can be delivered or shipped to:

Breakthrough FamilyPlex
C/O Breakthrough's Trunk
3219 W Carroll Ave
Chicago, IL 60624

Donate

 


Trunk Party 2020 1

Trunk Party 2020

Breakthrough is hosting a Trunk Party on Aug 1st for 50 high school graduates in our community headed off to college. A trunk party is a celebration for someone who is getting ready to head off to college. At the party, guests fill the student’s “trunk” with essentials for college—such as bedding, towels, toiletries, laundry supplies, and more. We are asking our Breakthrough donors and volunteers to help us throw this party and provide the items our students need as they head off to college.

DONATE

You can donate gifts in two ways:

  1. Wishlist on Target: breakthrough.org/target
  2. Wishlist (printable): breakthrough.org/trunk-party-wishlist

Gifts can be delivered or shipped to:

Breakthrough FamilyPlex
C/O Breakthrough's Trunk
3219 W Carroll Ave
Chicago, IL 60624

Donate

 

Trunk Party Application

 


young man smiling at Breakthrough Trunk Party

Transitioning to College, Malique Leans on East Garfield Park Roots

Malique Bodie moved around a lot growing up, but he said he always felt connected to East Garfield Park. His family was the first black family to own a house on their block; it's the same neighborhood where they own two homes now. It’s where Malique found his passion for politics and digital media. It’s the neighborhood where his grandmother lives, one of his favorite people.

As he prepared for his first year of college at Brown University, Malique said he recognized he would have to leave his community of support and risk feeling uncomfortable as he adjusted to the new setting. But, he said having his community's support will help him on this journey.

“I consider myself a product of my environment," he said. "I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for the people that helped build me up and raise me. I've learned so much from the people in my neighborhood, and I’m happy that my family has strong roots in this community.”

As a participant in Breakthrough's film club in 2016, Malique helped produce 40 Blocks, an East Garfield Park oral history project in collaboration with the Chicago History Museum. Malique said he enjoyed learning more about the history of his community, especially during Martin Luther King's visits during the civil rights era.

"Working on the film was such a great experience," he said. "Hearing and learning about the community from long-time residents was really cool. And, I felt like learning about MLK and his time in East Garfield Park really meant a lot to me."

Senior Director of the Breakthrough Youth Network Dr. Marcie Curry noted that Malique was an exceptional student in film club and his leadership was instrumental in many of the club's projects.

"Since we first met Malique it was clear he had high expectations for himself and was a dedicated student. His leadership in the Breakthrough film club was crucial in the completion of the 'Forty Blocks' film," she said. "I’ll never forget his poise and confidence as he spoke in front of a large crowd at the documentary release event. Of course, we are thrilled that he has taken his talents to Brown University and know that his future is bright!"

This August, Malique was one of 57 students celebrated at Breakthrough’s annual Trunk Party. At this community-wide event, friends and family of local scholars like Malique are invited to celebrate students' accomplishments. These students have been accepted into universities like the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and DePaul University, with many pursuing STEM-related degrees. At the Trunk Party, the college-bound students received words of encouragement and shopped for donated items like toiletries, school supplies, and linens to outfit their dorms.  

Though it's just been a few weeks since he moved to college, Malique is already feeling the stress of being away from his loved ones. But he says he is constantly reminded just how supported he is through small acts of kindness from people back home and phone calls from family.

"In terms of community support, I’ve experienced support from both individuals and organizations like Breakthrough via advice, trunk parties, and just affirmations and knowing the community is proud of me."


supplies for college students packed in a trunk

Community-Wide Trunk Party Supports College-Bound Students

With the support of donors and volunteers, ​Breakthrough​ hosted a ​Trunk Party​ on Saturday, Aug. 3.


Trunk Party 2019 2

Trunk Party 2019

Breakthrough is hosting a Trunk Party on Aug 3rd for 50 high school graduates in our community headed off to college. A trunk party is a celebration for someone who is getting ready to head off to college. At the party, guests fill the student’s “trunk” with essentials for college—such as bedding, towels, toiletries, laundry supplies, and more. We are asking our Breakthrough donors and volunteers to help us throw this party and provide the items our students need as they head off to college.

DONATE

You can donate gifts in two ways:

  1. Wishlist on Amazon: breakthrough.org/amazon
  2. Wishlist (printable): breakthrough.org/trunk-party-wishlist

Gifts can be delivered or shipped to:

Breakthrough FamilyPlex
C/O Breakthrough's Trunk
3219 W Carroll Ave
Chicago, IL 60624

Donate

 


smiling students who received Breakthrough Alumni Scholarship

Breakthrough Launches Inaugural Alumni Scholarship

A pair of students from the West Side passionate about criminal justice reform are the recipients of Breakthrough’s inaugural Alumni Scholarship. Jessica Daniels and DeAngelo Johnson said the development they experienced in Breakthrough’s Youth Network has helped them become mentors and leaders in their community. 

Jessica, a 20-year-old junior focused on criminal defense law at Howard University, has participated in the BYN since she was young enough to play T-ball. Now, Jessica volunteers at Breakthrough and in the community when she’s home for break. Growing up, she said participating in programming helped her open up, find her voice, and build strong relationships. What she values most about coming back to volunteer at Breakthrough is how relational the experience is for everyone involved. 

“I’ve volunteered in the Women and Men’s Centers, the Fresh Market, as well as the Christmas Store and other seasonal events. For me, I just really appreciate that Breakthrough humanizes people," Jessica said. "Getting to see how it works in other places in Chicago has been very passive, and it’s not as relational. At Breakthrough, it feels like a family and that needs are being met in the most human way possible.”

DeAngelo, a 22-year-old senior at UIC, is a criminology major and is training to become a Chicago police officer. DeAngelo participated in Breakthrough programming like basketball and Bible study, and was a member of the 2007 championship baseball team. He said his support system, from his parents to his mentors, have been instrumental in his success academically and in the community.

"Being able to become mentor has been a blessing. The youth that I work with and the group of people I’m surrounded by push me everyday and make me become a better leader,” DeAngelo said. “One thing I would say [to the youth] is listen to older people that say ‘I was once in your shoes.’ I didn’t pay them much attention, but as I got older, I started to realize what they said was true. The advice they gave was great and it's something I give back to the youth in my life.”

The Breakthrough Alumni Scholarship is awarded to graduating high school seniors or current college students that participated in Breakthrough programming for more than four years. Preferred applicants maintain a 3.0 GPA and are in need of financial relief for their studies. Scholars are granted $5,000 toward tuition, room, and board and may reapply each year of their collegiate careers. 

The scholarship is made possible through a generous, anonymous donor, allowing Breakthrough to support the scholars and leaders of the community.


Community members shopping at Breakthrough Trunk Party

‘Trunk Party’ Will Help West Side Teens Get Much-Needed Supplies Before Heading To College — And You Can Help

A huge “trunk party” will help West Side teenagers get everyday items they’ll need before heading to college.