Reality Changers Named Outstanding Non-Profit by San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

Reality Changers was recently awarded one of a six prestigious small business awards by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

At the annual San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Awards reception in August, our organization was honored in the “Outstanding Non-Profit” category.

The award was presented to Reality Changers for our tireless efforts on behalf of disadvantaged and lower-income students throughout San Diego. The Chamber’s award reflects our commitment to the community, particularly with students in pursuit of higher education.

The largest chamber of commerce in Southern California and the entire West Coast region, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce represents approximately 2,500 area businesses and more than a quarter million total jobs and careers. Some of the Chamber’s largest corporate sponsors include Southwest, Wells Fargo, Kaiser Permanente, Bank of America and Qualcomm.

“We’re thankful for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s recognition of Reality Changers as the most Outstanding Non-Profit organization in the area,” said Reality Changers founder and CEO Christopher Yanov. “This award is the culmination of our entire team, and also reflects well on those students we’ve assisted throughout the years – they’ve held up their end of the bargain, with spectacular results.”

Reality Changers recently opened for our program’s 17th academic year, and we’re proud to offer tutoring services in City Heights, in addition to our standard initiatives and activities.

“For low-income youngsters, the chance at a college degree shouldn’t be off-limits,” said Mr. Yanov. “Everything we do at Reality Changers is geared toward changing the harsh realities that face so many of our young people. With the promise of higher education serving as the ultimate incentive, we’re excited and encouraged by what our program has accomplished so far.”

To illustrate Mr. Yanov’s sentiment, Reality Changers has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments since opening in 2001.

  • Earlier in 2016, Reality Changers’ program participants – graduates and current students alike – exceeded $100,000,000 in total scholarship aid. Over the course of 15 years, that’s an average of nearly $7,000,000 per year, and more than $18,000 for every day Reality Changers has been in operation!
  • Reality Changers has also conducted international outreach opportunities for some of the poorest children in Mexico. In July, Reality Changers welcomed more than a dozen students into a residential program at UC San Diego. This unique program gave some of our less fortunate neighbors the glimpse of a better life, not to mention the hard work and determination necessary to achieve it – a lesson that Reality Changers hopes the students can spread in their homeland.
  • At the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce award ceremony, another astounding statistic was revealed: nearly nine of every ten students who participate in the Reality Changers mentoring program graduate college.

“This award really shows the collective efforts of everyone involved, from our dedicated mentors, teachers, administrators and tutors to the students themselves,” Mr. Yanov noted. “This passion and sense of purpose to do better for those in need is reflected with our students’ 97% college acceptance rate.”

The Reality Changers strategy – provide guiderails and incentives to success, rather than a high-pressure gang prevention program – has resulted in self-sufficient students ready to take on the challenges of the early 21st century, and beyond.

With a focus on incentives and eventual success instead of a doomed-to-fail “don’t look down” approach, we’re ready to assist current and would-be students to achieve a life they never thought possible. That’s just one reason why the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce honored Reality Changers, and we’re excited to see what the future holds.

For nearly 20 years, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce has represented, promoted and supported regional businesses, both private and non-profit. Reality Changers is proud to receive such notable recognition, and we’d like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to the Chamber for handing out this significant honor.

We’re proud to be a part of San Diego’s growing business community, and our unique mentoring programs and scholarship opportunities will help area high school students achieve the dream of a college education, one deserving student at a time!


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