Founders Letter

Reality Changers' Next Chapter

2018 and beyond

A Message from our Founder

I am delighted to share the news that Reality Changers has reached an important and exciting milestone: the individual who founded the organization no longer has to lead it. As such, I will step down as the organization’s president this month and take on the role of Founder & Senior Advisor.


We will soon commence a nationwide search for an executive director. In the meantime, I enthusiastically support the board of directors’ decision to appoint Reality Changers’ board chair, Kimberley Phillips Boehm, as interim executive director while she leads the search with key stakeholders for a new executive so that she can gain unique insight on what this role entails. Prior to joining our board, Kim helped lead universities on both coasts of the United States and now serves as vice-president/president-elect of the UC San Diego’s Alumni Board of Directors.


During the past four summers and the entire past school year, I have stepped back from spearheading day-to-day operations as dry runs to ensure that this moment could one day become possible. I’ve also seen during the past year how Reality Changers is now poised to become more successful than ever because of Kim’s leadership, generosity, and selflessness. When she accepted her added role as interim director, she also declined compensation.


The organization is prepared for such a turning point. The board has demonstrated its fundraising capacity and the staff has proven its leadership and strength. So it’s fitting that in Reality Changers’ 18th year – the same “age” we send our students off to college – the organization will be able to show how it can become even more successful by standing on its own, too. In many ways, it’s already done so:

  • Along with carrying out their official duties, Reality Changers’ board members have the ability and enthusiasm to raise more money now than I ever could. Additionally, our board demonstrates my core belief that the program’s students and parents deserve a seat at the table alongside world leaders – just as much as I believe that world leaders should be lucky enough to ever find themselves sitting at the same table next to our students and parents.

  • Along with being the best advocates for our students, Reality Changers’ staff members have the talent and know-how to run the organization better than I ever could. I came to this long-overdue conclusion when I looked around the table at a recent all-staff meeting and realized that every one of Reality Changers’ employees does his or her job better than I ever did in the past. This would have been a humbling moment if it weren’t so true.

And we know that all of the work we do is not possible without our students, graduates, and supporters. Earlier this year, I asked a struggling 8th grader how it would feel if he were accepted into Reality Changers. He had a low GPA back them, but his mind instantly flooded with opportunity. “Words haven’t been invented yet,” he responded. I echo these sentiments when trying to quantify my gratitude towards everyone who makes success stories like this possible and proves that college truly does change everything.


This 8th grader later said that every time he comes to Reality Changers, he is filled with more and more hope. With our continued support, students like this may well lead the organization themselves one day. That’s why it’s my hope that you’ll make a large donation today and/or join me in becoming a monthly donor so that more student success stories can be produced year after year. You didn’t think I’d stop asking for support, did you? 🙂


Beginning later this month, I will take some time off to rejuvenate knowing that Reality Changers will steadfastly continue its mission without needing me to lead the charge. Over the last few years, I know you’ve experienced the highs and lows for us to get to this point and for that I am forever grateful. Going forward, I plan to do my best to reciprocate the support and encouragement that I was fortunate enough to receive from you.


If you’ve been supporting us for years, I’m forever grateful. If you want to get involved again, welcome back. And if you want to join our efforts for the first time, jump in! No matter what role we play, there’s no better place for you to make a bigger impact than at Reality Changers. Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve.


Your Friend,

Christopher Yanov, Reality Changers Founder

A Message from our Interim Executive Director & Board Chair

Over the next few months, Chris plans to take time to recharge. Though he will step away from being RC’s president and director, as the founder he will remain forever closely connected to its mission. When he returns, he will take on the role of Founder & Senior Advisor.

Support our life-changing college initiative

We invite you to join a community of people who are investing in the future of our youth and communities by generously giving monthly gifts to Reality Changers. By becoming a monthly donor, you are transforming lives and making a difference, every single month.
Our vision and ultimate goal is to create universal access to college, one community at a time. Help us make this a reality. Become a monthly donor today.