Breakthrough Collaborative virtual event brings together students and NBA Hall of Famer Chris Bosh to talk life lessons and keys to success

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Hour-long conversation sponsored by Abra now available to stream online

At Breakthrough, we want to instill in our scholars and teaching fellows a belief that with the right attitude, skills, and support, they can break through. Both Chris and Angela champion this belief and serve as excellent role models for all of us.

Breakthrough Collaborative, a national leader in educational equity, teamed up with NBA Hall of Famer Chris Bosh and best-selling author Angela Duckworth on November 17 for a live conversation exploring themes from Bosh’s new book, Letters to a Young Athlete. Breakthrough students and alumni had questions in hand for Bosh covering a host of topics including leadership, harnessing purpose, building a community of support, and growing through adversity. The live-stream event was sponsored by Abra, the leading wealth management platform for crypto.

“Chris Bosh is an inspiration to so many - for what he has accomplished and more importantly, for how he has done it,” said Elissa Vanaver, President and CEO of Breakthrough Collaborative. “At Breakthrough, we want to instill in our scholars and teaching fellows a belief that with the right attitude, skills, and support, they can break through. Both Chris and Angela champion this belief and serve as excellent role models for all of us.”

Bosh throughout the event emphasized the importance of feedback, telling students that accepting criticism is critical to being great. “If someone says something to you that you don’t like but they are right, it would be a shame to be caught up in your feelings and not really assess and look at it with a critical eye,” he said. “If you take something from that person you trust and you apply it, you get better.”

Duckworth and Bosh talked at length about the importance of passion and purpose as key motivators along one’s journey. “You have to be brave. You have to step out there and seek something you want to do. You have to find that thing,” Bosh said. “In finding your why, you have to identify what you want to do first. Then, once you identify the goal, that’s the reason to get out of bed everyday.”

When asked to share advice on how to achieve greatness, Bosh reassured students.

“When you’re not sure of the future, bring yourself back to the present,” he said. “If you try to do that, you’ll be surprised at what things you’ll start noticing; what things start to come up because you are aware.” He went on to say when you question how to get there, focus on the present day. “What can I do today to be a great student or a great athlete?” “Fully bring yourself into that moment,” he continued.

An additional theme throughout the conversation was the importance of support. Bosh shared that it was his coaches and his “many moms and many dads” who aided him along the way. “Sometimes there can be a misconception that folks can do anything, big or small, by themselves. That’s totally not true,” he said. Duckworth, who founded Breakthrough Greater Boston as a college student, agreed. “No matter how old you are, you can be that person to someone else.”

Each year, Breakthrough Collaborative supports more than 10,000 middle and high schools students and trains more than 1,200 teaching fellows from 250-plus colleges and universities across the nation. Along with its community of partners and supporters, Breakthrough is responding to the unique needs of students and building a diverse and talented educator workforce.

“Abra is proud to have sponsored Breakthrough Collaborative’s conversation with Chris Bosh and Angela Duckworth,” said Kelly Johnson, Senior Director of Content. “We want to help Breakthrough empower aspiring leaders, and financial accessibility and inclusion are an essential part of that journey.”

Abra’s vision is to create a global financial system that is easily accessible to everyone. Abra is currently offering $15 in free CPRX for every $1 that is funded in the Abra wallet to help people start their journey.

A recording of the live-streamed event is now available to view online:

About Breakthrough Collaborative

Breakthrough Collaborative is a national leader in educational equity. We create empowering educational experiences for underrepresented students on their path to college, and we are the largest pre-professional teacher training program in the country. Our cost-effective model mobilizes the talent of students from more than 250 colleges and universities to meet the educational needs of motivated youth across the country. With over 40 years of experience, and a network of over 40,000 alumni, we are improving equity for historically under-represented groups in our school systems - as college graduates and as educational leaders. Learn more at

About Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh fell in love with basketball at an early age and earned the prestigious “Mr. Basketball” title while still in high school (Lincoln High School) in Dallas, Texas. A McDonald’s All-American, Bosh was selected fourth overall by the Toronto Raptors after one year attending Georgia Tech. By the end of his basketball career, he was an 11-time NBA All-Star, 2-time Champion and the NBA’s first Global Ambassador of Basketball. In March of 2019, Bosh’s #1 Jersey was officially retired for the Miami Heat. In addition to his basketball career, in 2010 Team Tomorrow was founded as a community-uplift organization. Bosh regularly speaks to youths about the benefits of reading, coding and leadership. Bosh, his wife Adrienne, and their five children reside in Austin, Texas.

About Angela Duckworth
Angela Duckworth is the founder and CEO of Character Lab, whose mission is to advance scientific insights that help children thrive. She is also the Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, faculty co-director of the Penn-Wharton Behavior Change For Good Initiative, and faculty co-director of Wharton People Analytics.

Previously, Angela founded a summer school for underserved children that was profiled as a Harvard Kennedy School case study and, in 2018, celebrated its 25th anniversary. She has also been a McKinsey management consultant and a public school math and science teacher. Her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance is a #1 New York Times best seller. She is also co-host, with Stephen Dubner, of the podcast No Stupid Questions.

You can receive her Tip of the Week email newsletter by signing up here.

About Abra

Abra is the leading wealth management platform for crypto. Abra’s mission is to create a simple and honest platform to help the next billion crypto holders maximize the potential of their crypto assets. Founded in 2014 by Bill Barhydt, Abra’s users earn high yield on their crypto assets, trade over 100 different cryptocurrencies and borrow dollars against crypto holdings. Abra has processed over $1 billion in crypto-backed loans and has paid millions of dollars in interest payments to retail and institutional clients alike. Abra has raised over $75M in venture financing from American Express, Foxconn, Blockchain Capital, RRE Ventures, Digital Currency Group and other prominent investors. For more information, visit

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Tieler Giles