As we near the end of the 2017-2018 school year, Breakthrough is excited to announce two important transitions. Current Director Victor Cota will be moving into the role of Director of Equity and Inclusion at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. Current Assistant Director Alex Serna will step into the role of Director of Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano. Both transitions are effective August 1, 2018. Join us in congratulating Victor and Alex!

Please read below for further communication regarding both transitions:


Dear Breakthrough SJC Community,

I am pleased to share the news of the appointment of Alex Serna as Director of Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano beginning August 1, 2018. Alex has been the Assistant Director for Breakthrough SJC since 2014, leading the academic program and building strong relationships with students, families and partner organizations. Alex has been an integral part of Breakthrough’s growth and success in recent years, as a leader in the summer academic programs, the college mentor program, improving student retention, the multiyear strategic plan, and in the field study with University of California, Irvine.

This transition comes as I move into a new role as Director of Equity and Inclusion with St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, our Breakthrough program host school and lead sponsor. This is an exciting opportunity to develop my passion for equity work and lead St. Margaret’s school-wide focus on an inclusive community and cultural competency. I will remain connected to Breakthrough, and Alex and I will continue to work closely together.

Previously, Alex served as Academic Program Coordinator with the Youth Policy Institute in Los Angeles that provides low-income families and children access to high-quality schools and education. At YPI, Alex focused on a high-school completion program and supported grant work on special projects.

Alex is an incredible role model for Breakthrough students with an impressive educational journey of his own as a first-generation college graduate. He matriculated to the University of California, Berkeley from Santa Ana College. He discovered the power of mentorship through the support of many professors who guided and nurtured him toward his future, and this ignited his own passion for working with students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Alex completed a leadership internship in the selective Institute for Recruitment of Teachers with Phillips Academy Andover. He holds a Master of Education from the University of California, Los Angeles with a focus on urban education.  He is currently a Fellow in the New American Leaders, leadership program and has recently completed a certificate in college advisement with Columbia University Teachers College.

A lifelong learner and dedicated educator, it is clear that Alex embodies the expertise and personal passion for the mission of Breakthrough SJC, and we are confident he will continue to strengthen the program and student growth and success. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Alex Serna in his new role.


Victor Cota
Director | Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano

St. Margaret’s Episcopal School

Office: 949.661.0108 x1342 | Cell: 949.307.3793