The Break Through Tech AI Program provides any undergraduate student (with a focus on Black, Latino/a, Indigenous, and low-income women and non-binary students) with industry focused A.I./M.L. skills training, industry mentors, professional readiness training and opportunities to work on real-world A.I./M.L. projects for major employers and research institutions.

Developed by industry and academic leaders, students begin with a summer ML Engineering curriculum that teaches the critical, practical skills that help qualify candidates for entry-level jobs in the field including skills in building data analysis pipelines, training and validating ML models, while gaining experience with common ML/AI libraries. Next, students join the AI Studio where they work in teams to solve industry challenges and develop a portfolio of AI projects that demonstrate their capabilities. Throughout the program, students receive career coaching, mentorship, and summer internship placement support, all aimed at helping participants successfully launch their AI tech careers.

The AI Program is currently offered in Boston, and Los Angeles, and virtually to students outside of these metropolitan areas.

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The AI Program has multiple components:

book with bookmark   Skills Based Curriculum

Women and non-binary students complete an asynchronous, skills-based course over the summer complemented by weekly, hands-on lab sessions. Every step of the way, students will have support from faculty and graduate students who will answer questions and help prepare them for the AI Studio projects during the academic year.

a person points at a board   AI Studio

Throughout the Fall and Spring, students will work in teams to tackle real-world challenges from leading companies that are being addressed with machine learning and AI. In doing so, students will create assets that they can add to their portfolio that will serve as a “credential” to show future employers what they can do.  AI Studio partners have included Google, JP Morgan Chase, American Express, Pfizer, ASAPP, and more.

a clipboard with markings on it   Mentorship and Career Coaching

Students work closely with professionals from organizations leading the industry over 9 months cohort-based, structured mentorship program to cultivate their authentic leadership and social capital. From real-world case studies, skill-building simulations, and personalized feedback, Mentors will help ensure students they are on track to land a summer internship and full-time employment. This innovative approach changes the way we think of “career services.”

Think you could be a good mentor? Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Facilitate curriculum-based mentorship program to a small group of 5-6 students
  • Complete 9 meetings over 9 months from August to April


Interested in working with us on the AI Program?

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Pivotal Ventures and Citadel, Citadel Securities logos

Our Funders

Break Through Tech’s AI Program is funded by Melinda French Gates’ company Pivotal Ventures, Ken Griffin, Citadel and Citadel Securities, the Hopper-Dean Foundation. Reboot Representation, the Strada Education Foundation, Estée Lauder Foundations  and New Venture Fund.

Puja Roy looks at the camera

This program has refined my programming skills based on Python and raised my knowledge of how crucially imperative Machine Learning, AI and Data Science are in the Computer Science field. In fact, this program is what motivated me to learn more about Data Science.

Puja Roy she/her
CUNY Student and Break Through Tech Alumna