Dilshod moved to the United States from Russia in 2009 and joined Reality Changers in 2010. At the time, he was facing academic challenges because he was not fluent in English and learning to navigate the American education system.
As part of Reality Changers, Dilshod participated in tutoring, leadership development, public speaking, and career readiness programming. He found a welcoming family with the Reality Changers staff, volunteers, and peer community.
“Throughout the years, I had many Reality Changers mentors who helped me personally, guided me in the right direction, and helped me with the challenges that I was facing. I never felt as if I was left out or felt like I was a stranger. I am grateful for Reality Changers and the staff for being there for me, treating me like a family, and believing in me.”
During his senior year of high school, Dilshod participated in Reality Changers’ College Apps Academy program, which included support for college and scholarship applications, college readiness training, and more. He graduated from Hoover High School in 2015 and attended Cal State San Marcos, where he majored in Business Management.
Dilshod is proud of everything that he has accomplished since he moved to the United States. Not only was he a first-generation college graduate, but he also became a US Citizen, and is currently working on advancing his career.
Today, Dilshod is a Car Sales Consultant with Enterprise Holdings. He is one of more than 2,900 program graduates who live, learn, and work all over the country.
“It feels amazing to be part of the family that Reality Changers has created. There are a lot of kids who are in need of a little push and guidance to get to where they want be, but lack the support and resources. With the support of organizations such as Reality Changers, dreams can be achieved and kids can reach their potentials.”
Reality Changers is proud of Dilshod for overcoming the challenges of moving to a new country and for being the first in his family to graduate from college. For 20 years, the organization has been a community and support system for students like him.
You can help Reality Changers continue this legacy of building brighter futures for youth from underrepresented backgrounds.
Dilshod’s responses have been edited for clarity.