Rudi Flores: Not Just the “Breakthrough Guy”


Alden Weeks, 2018 Teaching Fellow

Rudi Flores presents during an Breakthrough All-School Meeting in the summer of 2018.

Andrea Andrade, Reporter

Two or more hours of homework, four classes a day, for six weeks each summer, for four years. That is what the students at Breakthrough have to accomplish. Breakthrough is a program for middle school students from all around Fort Worth. The Breakthrough family helps students prepare for high school as well as help with college applications. 

Rudi Flores is the Director of Student Affairs for Breakthrough Fort Worth, as well as a coach for the MS football team. Flores himself was a Breakthrough student as well as a teacher. He is known for his energy and loud voice.

“I think I feed off the energy that’s put out by the Breakthrough kids,” Flores said. “And I want to lead by example, so if I’m telling you to be excited and telling you to be ready and telling you to do your work, I have to do the same thing on my end.”

Flores described Breakthrough as an opportunity for kids to get exposed to opportunities where otherwise they would not be able to experience. 

“The beauty about Breakthrough is we let you celebrate who you are,” Flores said. “We encourage you to express yourself. We encourage you to be successful.” 

Outside of the Breakthrough and FWCD community Rudi spends most of his time with his family, and his dog. 

“You can say I’m really family oriented, I just hang out with my family,my mom, my dad, my sister, my niece, my brother’s in the Navy but he’s in Guam, so I just hang out with them for the most part,” Flores said. 

Flores enjoys watching a lot of sports, from watching his niece cheer, to watching professional football games. 

“I go to cheerleading competitions to watch my niece perform,” Flores said. “And a lot of Premier Soccer. I’m a big fan of Manchester City, the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks and the Texas Rangers.”

Flores coaches seventh and eighth-grade football at FWCD. He told Breakthrough Director Joe Breedlove ‘78 he wanted to do something around the campus and that he was interested in coaching, but he had to wait three years before a coaching position was open. After those long three years, Interim Athletic Director James Rains offered him the position. This past fall season was his second year as a coach.

“I feel like I’ve always been the Breakthrough guy, but never been anything else,” Flores said. “And so to coach seventh grade and eighth grade, it’s just kind of cool to have the middle school kids know who I am, and it’s kind of cool to put my Breakthrough energy in the football program.”

Breedlove has known and worked with Flores for “a minute.” 

“When the coaching position came open, I only had one person in mind, and it was Rudi,” Breedlove said. “He was almost in tears when I shared with him that the position was available.”

Breedlove works with Flores and Breakthrough Program Director Nicole Masole all year round, whether it is during the school year, or the summer when Breakthrough takes place. 

“If there is such a thing as a dream team, it would be the two of them [Flores and Masole], me, and we’ll throw Aaron Lowe (FWCD technology specialist who also works with Breakthrough on technology and college counseling) in there,” Breedlove said.

Masole described Flores in one word: “generous.”

He’s incredibly generous to everyone around him. There is never a stranger with Rudi. Even my mom loves him,” Masole said.

The “dream team” have known each other for quite some time now. Flores met both Breedlove and Masole when being Teacher Assistants and Teachers at Breakthrough.

I’ve known Rudi for 11, going on 12 years,” Masole said, “They say that if you are friends with someone for over 7 years, you are friends forever. Well, Rudi, you’re stuck with me forever.”