top of page
Untitled design (4)_edited.png

Why Breakthrough?

Breakthrough Leadership Academy

The goal of Breakthrough Leadership Academy (BLA) is to provide a strong foundation through academic rigor that is reinforced by hands-on experiences and consistent application of skills in real-life settings.

BLA offers a year-round school program that provides real life experiences for all students. This is accomplished through local, national, and international partnerships and travel. We encourage students using fundamental values:

  1. Learn Something New Every Day

  2. Apply What You’ve Learned

  3. Develop Your Own Thinking and Create



To provide a quality educational program that leverages and builds upon the unique curiosity of our students, helps them to advocate for themselves and their communities, provides them with the tools to assume responsibility for their learning and actions, and prepares them for high school graduation, postsecondary education, employment, and community activism.


Mrs. Nikilia Reid

Principal Reid has been an educator for over twenty-five years.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Middle Grades Education from Clark Atlanta University and obtained her Master’s in Early Adolescents from Bank Street College of Education. Mrs. Reid also holds an 092 Administration Certification from Southern Connecticut State University.


Her teaching career began first as a middle school teacher working in New Haven Public schools and later at two charter schools. After receiving her 092 Administrative Certification in 2009, she served as Dean of Students and Global Studies Coordinator at Highville Charter School. Mrs. Reid also acted as the interim principal for Highville Change Academy and was one of the key people instrumental in creating the high school which was an extension of Highville Charter School.


Mrs. Reid joined the Jumoke family in 2019 as a Dean of Students and Enrichment at Thelma Ellis Dickerson Elementary school. Currently, Mrs. Reid serves as the Principal of Jumoke Academy Honors at the Hartford Conservatory.  Principal Reid is proud of the progress made by her scholars and teachers and looks forward to continued achievements in years to come.


Rev. Dr. John E. Cotten, Jr.

Dr. Cotten has a degree in Elementary Education from Southern Connecticut State University and a Doctor of Theology degree from Christian Leadership Bible College. He is the Founder and President of H.O.P.E., Inc., a non-profit community services agency based in the Newhallville neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut, in addition to being the Senior Pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

His teaching career began when he and his wife provided home school and daycare services to the community. He has worked in the New Haven public school system as an In-School Suspension Officer. Through his work with youth he has mentored and tutored young people extensively throughout the state of Connecticut for over 25 years.

Pastor Cotten, a New Haven native, started H.O.P.E., Inc. in order to address inequities among resources in neighborhoods in need across the City of New Haven. His passion for education has guided the organization's mission through programs specifically designed to educate individuals, families and the community at-large.

As Senior Pastor of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, he offers more than 23 years of expertise in pastoral leadership with success in implementing mission and vision. Additionally, he currently serves as the President of the Congress of Christian Education for The Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention, and is currently working on earning a Master of Arts degree in Transformational Leadership & Administration from New York Theological Seminary.


Our Founders

Survey Petition
Intent to Enroll

On December 1, 2022, Breakthrough Leadership Academy (BLA) will submit an application to the CT Department of Education to open a middle grades school in 2023 or 2024 to serve students in grades 5-8. BLA will offer all students in- and out-of-school experiential and applied learning opportunities guided by each child’s personalized learning plan.

We are collecting survey responses from the community regarding opening the school and would appreciate a few minutes of your time to complete the survey and sign the petition in support of opening the school.


We appreciate your time and your feedback.


There are two (2) steps to successfully completing and e-signing the survey petition.

  1. Complete the form and SIGN, DO NOT TYPE your name. You may sign on your handheld device or using your mouse on your laptop or desktop computer

  2. As an additional security measure, you will receive an email from Adobe to verify that you completed and signed the form. Once you have clicked on the verify link in your email, the process is complete.

To get started, click the Start button at the top left of the form.


PO Box 9032, New Haven, CT 06532


bottom of page