In the race to college, your only competition should be yourself. Students at Reality Changers begin their race to college without the tools necessary to finish, but we are here to close that gap. This month’s inspirational message comes straight from our Chief Inspiration Officer, Alex Reyes. Alex’s message is the first of our quarterly blog posts sharing advice from College Town. This quarter’s focus is on staying motivated in difficult times. For Alex, motivation starts with your mindset.
Coming from a low-income background, Alex knows what it takes to become a first generation college graduate. Mentorship from friends and family are key to maintaining a motivated mindset. His father’s motto to follow his heart led him to be the first in his family to graduate from University of California, Irvine (UCI). At UCI, Alex studied criminology, psychology, and education where he grew his passion for youth development.
Working for Camp Medicine affirmed his future career decision to serve underrepresented youth. Camp Medicine is a collegiate student-led organization that offers medical workshops to low-income high school students. After building a partnership with Estancia High School, a memorable teacher shared his philosophy with Alex. Mr. Sterling said, “students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This philosophy carries into Alex’s work at Reality Changers as he motivates students to keep working towards their dreams. Fusing his father’s intuitive school of thought and Mr. Sterling’s care, Alex aims to share care, compassion, and positivity with every student.
Reality Changers seeks to shift youths’ mindsets away from the negative realities towards a positive outlook for the future. Our tightrope theory – which is grounded in positive philosophy – states that when students shift their mindset toward positive goals like going to college, then the negative influences in life become less desirable. For many students, Reality Changers is the only refuge from negative circumstances. Without Reality Changers, students are at-risk of believing in a limited future. Through persistent mentorship, academic support, storytelling, and peer-learning, Reality Changers exposes youth to the good things in life. One motto our students live by is tough times never last, but tough people always do, which teaches them to look beyond their current circumstances toward college and a purpose-driven career. When your mindset is positive, your future will be too.