2012 Milestones


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    San Diego High
    Homeless from ages 7 to 17

    *Earned a $100,000 scholarship*

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    Mission Bay High

    Saw his village destroyed by war

    *$91,000 scholarship
    to San Luis Obispo*

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    El Cajon Valley High

    Bombs were dropped on his
    house during the Iraq war

    *$102,000 scholarship to UC Irvine*

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    Point Loma High

    Proud of her multi-ethnic heritage

    *Earned a $243,000 scholarship*

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    Mission Bay High

    Used to stretch a bowl of rice
    into a week’s worth of meals

    *Won a Gates scholarship
    worth over $300,000*


From 1996 to 2001, Christopher Yanov worked as a youth director near downtown San Diego. The majority of teens with which he first worked with were involved with drugs and gangs, often leading to violence, vandalism, teen pregnancy, and even death.


To respond to this challenge, Reality Changers started in 2001 with just four students and $300 to its name. It is based on the principle that it is just not right that most inner-city students today know more people who have been shot or killed in the street than people who are on the road to college.


Nearly a decade and a half later, Reality Changers now serves nearly 1,000 youth from disadvantaged backgrounds every year (its College Apps Academy course is available to 12th graders from all backgrounds).


The program’s 1,300 graduates – including 29 Gates Millennium Scholars – have now earned over $100,000,000 in scholarship from all sources. Reality Changers has begun to scale its programs so that this feat can be accomplished on an annual basis beginning in 2018. Please join this effort so we can succeed together!


Keep up to date on the latest Reality Changers news!