Linh, Reality Changers Class of 2016

Linh participated in Reality Changers from 2014 to 2016, when she was a student at Scripps Ranch High School. 

“When I first joined, I felt so welcomed by everyone at RC ….and that’s coming from someone who was incredibly shy! Throughout my experience, I was challenged in so many ways and supportively pushed out of my comfort zone. I experienced things I didn’t even know I was capable of, like speaking in front of a large audience!

Neither of Linh’s parents had graduated from high school. It was important to her to become a first generation college graduate because her parents had sacrificed a lot to provide for her and build a solid foundation for her future. She feels that Reality Changers helped to give her the resources and supportive community that she needed to achieve this goal. 

“Reality Changers is a place that provides students with a safe environment to grow and learn. From the tutoring sessions to college prep to speech competitions to volunteering opportunities to each other’s presence, Reality Changers really covers it all to prepare students for college and beyond.”

After high school, Linh attended UC San Diego and graduated in 2020 with a B.S. in Public Health and a Minor in Business. She says that this is one of her proudest accomplishments.

What I accomplished wasn’t easy, especially being first-gen. There were many times I wanted to give up but didn’t because of the support from my community and my own resilience and perseverance.”

Today, Linh is a Care Coordinator at Gallagher Insurance with the California Schools Voluntary Employees Benefits Association, delivering affordable and accessible health care to educators.

Linh is one of the more than 2,900 students who have graduated from Reality Changers since the program was created in 2001. She says that it feels “incredible” to be a member of this group.

“I’m so happy for everyone and their accomplishments because, although it’s nice to win, it feels even better seeing others win with you!”

You can help build brighter futures for students like Linh who dream of being the first in their families to go to college.

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Linh’s responses have been edited for clarity.

Katie Craig

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