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SUPPORTER SPOTLIGHT: ALLI & DEBBI LETO

Alli and Debbi Leto have been fundamental participants and supporters of Reality Changers since the humble beginnings of our organization. A mother and daughter power duo, the two have helped Reality Changers grow from a grassroots effort in Golden Hill, to the thriving nonprofit we are today.

Alli Leto, who works full-time for a San Diego law firm, was introduced to Reality Changers in 2002, after being acquainted with Founder Chris Yanov at an event hosted by their alma mater, University of California, San Diego. That year, Alli began serving as a volunteer tutor in the organization, a role that she has held ever since. Alli finds the students she has served over the years to be a source of inspiration, whose stories of enduring hardship put her own life into perspective. To her, the camaraderie of the students and staff has been most important to our success.  

Shortly after beginning, Alli recruited her mother, Debbi, to join in her involvement with Reality Changers. As a first-generation college graduate herself, Debbi was a perfect fit for our organization. As a child, Debbi had no ambition to attend college. It wasn’t until a principal from her high school privately asked about her plans for college that she realized pursuing a university degree was possible for her. For Debbi, serving as a tutor at Reality Changers allows her to give back to future generations what that principal gave to her. For many years, Debbi ran the College Apps Academy program at Reality Changers, supporting seniors through the entire college application process. After a successful career as a high school teacher, Debbi is now retired and devotes her time to her family and the students at Reality Changers. Debbi believes that Reality Changers is a model for changing lives that could be successful nationwide and around the world.

After over 16 years, Debbi and Alli continue to to show up for our students and inspire and motivate them every week. Our students and alumni can always count on Debbi and Alli for support.

When asked why they support Reality Changers, Debbi and Alli say:

Debbi: The opportunity to see the results of my volunteer efforts firsthand is so rewarding.  Maintaining relationships with my Reality Changers kids gives me great joy and keeps me feeling young!

Alli: From almost insurmountable tragedy in the life of my first student to the college acceptances and graduations of many others, it has been the best 3,000 hours of my life and why I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else every Tuesday!!!

Debbi and Alli, we are so honored and grateful to have you as part of the Reality Changers family. Thank you for your support all these years and inspiring generations of Reality Changers students!

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