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Inspiration: “We have written earlier that knowledge had replaced land and financial capital as the new
economic resource.  Knowledge-added is the new value-added, we said, whether in goods or services.  
Well, guess what?  Intellectual capital is no longer supreme…there’s a new champ in the ring.  It’s social
capital – the collective value of people who know each other and what they’ll do for each other.  It’s
human networks that make things happen, not computer networks.  And leaders who get extraordinary
things done will be those who are right there in the middle of them.

The tragedy of September 11 reinforced this on a global scale.  We are indeed all connected and our
alliances are key.  Social capital is amassed over years of investing in building relationships.  Cash flow
may be the measure of our ability to finance our work, but social capital is the measure of our ability to
put that cash to good use.” – James M. Kouzes, The Leadership Challenge (2003)

The Summerbridge Breakthrough Alumni Network
is a community for fellow graduates and former
staff of Summerbridge and Breakthrough
“students teaching students” model programs.

SBAN envisions generations of community-
conscious leaders from diverse backgrounds
whose commitment to education, social justice,
and youth development achieves equity for all.  
To accomplish this vision, SBAN promotes the
lifelong learning, leadership and success of its
members – students as well as staff – through
the exchange of knowledge, opportunities, and
The mutual exchange of support among alumni is the centerpiece of SBAN.

Our success depends on the number of people in the network and the strength of our relationships to
each other.  We need to connect back with over 20,000 student and teacher alumni in 39 sites over
26 years.  More important, we need to nurture a culture of reciprocity among the alumni, where it
becomes commonplace for all of us to share our time, knowledge, and resources with others who are
part of Summerbridge and Breakthrough.

According to a recent study by McKinsey & Company, alumni networks only work well if alumni feel a
positive connection to the original program.  Summerbridge and Breakthrough has an intensely loyal
following.  We all have witnessed the power of the model.  It works.  It changes the lives of everyone it
touches.  The Summerbridge Breakthrough Alumni Network has a strong chance of success because
of the common experience that binds us.  Once in Summerbridge or Breakthrough, always in
Summerbridge or Breakthrough.  As a result, SBAN is well-positioned to succeed in promoting mutual
support and generosity among alumni.