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Impact Story: Valeria Rodriguez

Valeria Rodriguez joined Reality Changers when she was in the 12th grade. She is currently attending Orange Coast College and receives support from the Alumni Network program.

What was your life like before joining Reality Changers? 

Before Reality Changers, I didn’t have anyone to turn to when I had a question about college. The counselors at my high school did not understand the specifics of my situation and even when they had useful information, I felt overwhelmed. 

Now that you have graduated from the program, what is your life like now?

I am beyond grateful that I was able to join Reality Changers. The support that I have received from my mentors, during and after the program finished, was unexpected. I don’t think that my transition to college would have been so smooth without Reality Changers. 

What is one way Reality Changers has supported you during this global pandemic? 

Reality Changers continues to reinforce positivity and support. At a personal level, Reality Changers gave me a platform where I could express my feelings and thoughts on this pandemic. Knowing that I have a safe space at Reality Changers lifts a weight off my shoulders. 

How did it feel when Reality Changers provided you with that support? 

They gave me the social support that I needed. Everything happened so fast, I wasn’t able to say goodbye to friends, family, or professors. I didn’t want to acknowledge that I was very affected by the pandemic. 

What would you say to someone considering making a donation to Reality Changers?

Reality Changers is a program that truly cares about it’s students. I only have respect for the people who work there. They are always hosting events on valuable information and reaching out. Your donation doesn’t just help one person, because when someone is able to get help on higher education, all of society benefits.

What do you think other people should know about Reality Changers? 

Reality Changers is trying to make a change in the representation of minorities in higher education. Without Reality Changers, I would not be where I am today. They are able to help me understand how higher education works and what I need to do in order to be successful. 

Gabby Herencia

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