Impact Story: Helena Villegas

Helena Villegas joined Reality Changers when she was in the 9th grade. She is now a rising senior and attending Patrick Henry High School. Helena will be transitioning from the College Town program into the College Apps Academy.

What initially brought you to Reality Changers? 

I come from a lineage of Reality Changers alumni as I witnessed my three older siblings pursue higher education and obtain college degrees. I felt inspired to walk in their footsteps and I understood I couldn’t do this alone. Therefore, I decided to seek support from Reality Changers which is a community-based organization. 

How has COVID-19 affected you and your family?

COVID-19 caused my mother and father to feel concerned with work and money issues. Recently, people have been let go from my dad’s work, and he stresses over not knowing what is planned in regards to his own work status. On another level, mental health is an important factor to our family and the way we maintain a healthy mindset is getting outdoors and socializing. At this time of social distancing, we have been restricted and confined in order to save this pandemic from spreading. However, the levels of agitation and fear have filled the house with negativity. The only thing spreading quicker than the COVID-19 virus is the widespread terror and anxieties causing hysteria amongst families, society, and the world. 

How does Reality Changers provide support for you and family now?

Attending Reality Changers on a weekly basis has provided me with a place to focus as my home is not the easiest place to accomplish my assignments. Not many people have access to outside knowledge and Reality Changers spreads awareness to life lessons and college preparation all in one. With weekly check-ins, staff utilize their best efforts to ensure a student is kept on the right track and out of trouble. However, this only is effective if the student cooperates and works to the best of their ability. Personally, I try to utilize all that Reality Changers has to offer not only in the 4 hours we are there, but also outside their office hours. 

How does Reality Changers provide support for you and family now?

With everything being pushed, like the ACT and SAT, the stress for future college admission tests is prolonged. Despite the offset from COVID-19, I believe Reality Changers is the support system I need to get back on track with school and the process of being prepared for college. Reality Changers (specifically College Town) develops consistent trust and reliability by providing help with academics, supplying access to helpful tutors and resources, and offering essential opportunities. 

Why does Reality Changers matter to you? To your family?

Reality Changers is like another family to me considering the amount of support I receive from the staff and fellow students. They provide knowledge/advice on college preparation, resources, and motivation to be the best version of oneself. Reality Changers is a big factor in my life and without them, I probably wouldn’t be on the Honor Roll earning a 4.33 GPA. I have access to applying and attending summer summits and summer college programs like Academic Connections. My family constantly expresses the difficulty in helping me with academics because schools have changed the way they teach like how they used to, back when my parents were younger. My parents never attended college and they are grateful for Reality Changers opening doors for their children like me. My parents never had access to opportunities and resources like the ones Reality Changers offers. 

Katie Craig

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