Catherine Mitchell was a teaching fellow back when BTP was called Summerbridge. She was a teacher in both 2001 and 2002. Like many Summerbridge and Breakthrough teaching fellows, she spent her summer working with local middle school students, building their academic skills and forming relationships. Catherine has continued to work in the field of education and is now the principle of Young Women’s Leadership School of Brooklyn in Brooklyn, New York. We recently reconnected with Catherine and asked her a couple of questions about what her time in the program means to her. Here is what she shared.


Catherine Mitchell, Principal at Young Women’s Leadership School of Brooklyn

What’s your why?

I have a number of whys–starting with the fact that I grew up with a lot of privilege and learned early on that many people in our country could use more opportunities. I’m passionate about leading a school that creates opportunities for students. I also love watching both students and organizations make progress–it makes being in a school every day really fun!


Why did you teach with Summerbridge/Breakthrough?

I loved tutoring and teaching informally–it seemed like the perfect fit.


Why did you stay in education?

At Summerbridge I got to learn and teach–I think that set the stage; I love being in a profession where I’m learning every day.


Why do you continue to do what you do?

Lots of students’ names come to mind when I think of this question–Jessica, Latifah, Leilani, Kwame, Angel and so many more. I do what I do because I love watching students make progress. I love being there for them and believing in them even more than they believe in themselves sometimes. And supporting teachers in doing so.