Paola Romero joined Reality Changers when she was in the 12th grade and graduted from high school in 2016. Paola is currently attending San Diego State University and plans to graduate this year. She is currently receiving support from our Alumni Network program.
What was your life like before joining Reality Changers?
Before Reality Changers, going to college wasn’t even on my radar. I didn’t put much thought into going to college and really, I had no idea what the first step was to apply to college. Before Reality Changers, I didn’t know much about college applications and the admissions process. In high school, I had good grades and started thinking about what I wanted to do after I graduated. I realized that it was college, but I didn’t even know where to start on the applications, testing, deadlines, or anything else.
Now that you have graduated from the program, what is your life like now?
I am a fourth year student at San Diego State University. I will be graduating this May. I am a Child and Family Development major with a minor in Counseling and Social Change. I am working as a Counselor Intern for SDSU Upward Bound/ HCOP, which is a college prep program that serves first generation, low income students. Reality Changers helped me so much during high school and I would not be where I am now if I didn’t receive that support. I want to be able to give back to the students who come from similar backgrounds and be a part of their support system, just like the Reality Changers team has been for me.
What is one way Reality Changers has supported you during this global pandemic?
I still feel Reality Changers’ presence, even from a distance. The Reality Changers Alumni Network set a RC Real Talk Session to hold space for alumni to talk about how campus closures have impacted us and how we have been feeling through it all. They also shared valuable resources with us. Reality Changers isn’t just for academic support or to get help with college applications. They are more about building a community with students and helping us out academically, professionally, and personally.
How did it feel when Reality Changers provided you with that support?
It feels great knowing that Reality Changers is still here to support me. I know that I have a support system within the Reality Changers team and can go to them for anything. It gives me peace of mind knowing that I am not alone. It makes me feel like they still believe in what I can do and it motivates me to keep on going.
What would you say to someone considering making a donation to Reality Changers?
Your donation, no matter what size, is kindly appreciated by the Reality Changers team and students. The donations truly make an impact on our lives. They keep the organization running which makes it possible for us to get the support that we need to reach our goals.
What do you think other people should know about Reality Changers?
Reality Changers is life changing. I really do not think I would be where I am at today if it was not for the support and motivation from Reality Changers. Applying to Reality Changers is not a decision I regret. I feel so glad and blessed that I was able to be part of the program and that I am still connected to the team and peers.