Institution
Reality Changers
Issue Area(s)
Key Personnel
Reality Changers
3910 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92105
United States

Reality Changers began in 2001 with just $300, four 8th graders, and the belief that college changes everything, especially for low-income, Latino youth. Today, Reality Changers has over 1,600 alumni and 1,600 annual participants. Reality Changers has three programs: College Town, College Apps, and the Alumni Network. The programs are designed to help students in grades 8 through 12 become college ready. These services include ACT/SAT vocabulary workshops, a summer college experience, and college application and selection guidance. Additionally, program alumni receive professional development and help current program seniors with their college application process. Historically, over 90% of program participants are Latino. Currently, 68% of program participants are Latino. Reality Changers accepts between 40 and 60 eighth grade students a year into its College Town program. 

Goal/Mission

Reality Changers’ mission is to transform lives, schools, and communities by providing youth from disadvantaged backgrounds with the academic support, financial assistance, and leadership training to become first-generation college students. The outward goal of Reality Changers is to ensure low-income youth, particularly Latinos, have the academic and financial support to become first-generation college graduates.

Outcome

Reality Changers has over 1,600 program graduates and over 1,600 8th-12th graders currently in the program. ​Since 2011, Reality Changers has hosted “Challenge Assemblies” for local Latino at risk 8th graders with a 2.0 GPA or below. Students who were able to raise their grades the most over the next month skip the years-long waiting list and join the program. Up to 60% of students at these Challenge Assemblies raised their grades. Of the males that were not able to join Reality Changers, none graduated from the local high school, while only 25% of Latinas graduated. 

Of the students served:

  • 97% of students enroll in college and 86% are persisting towards or have already earned a degree from a four-year university.
  • Out of 250 program graduates in 2015, Reality Changers had 7 Gates Scholars.
  • 86% of students who have completed the College Town program have graduated or are currently persisting in college
Program Focus
College Prep, Mentoring