Steven’s Story

Reality Changers is proud to share a short documentary video about Steven, a Class of 2022 high school graduate. We would like to thank the Team Lewis Foundation for creating this video and helping to tell Steven’s story in his own words. We’d also like to thank all of our donors and volunteers for helping students like Steven to pursue their goals.

You can support students like Steven as they work to become high school and college graduates. Donate to make a difference.

“My biggest dream in life is to pay back those who sacrificed everything for me.”

So begin’s Steven’s Story, a snapshot glance at just one of the many Reality Changers students. 17-year-old Steven grew up in southeast San Diego.. His parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico City – Steven’s dad is a hard-working construction worker, while his mother has been instrumental in keeping Steven on the path towards academic success.

“I remember in middle school, friends I would talk to, a handful of them are in jail. Some of them have passed away due to gang violence. My mom kept me away from all that.”

Art – and College Readiness – as a Gateway

Drawing became a form of escapism for Steven. He kept his head down and focused on his art until Reality Changers came to his middle school one day. “That’s when I started having a sense of how college could literally change your reality,” Steven says.

Reality Changers recruits eighth-grade students with a GPA of 2.0 or below, recognizing their potential and offering them an opportunity to compete and strive for a brighter future. Many of these youth may not have considered themselves “college material” before joining the Reality Chagers program. By nurturing these students from an early stage, the organization helps them to identify their own strengths and expand their support system.

“Reality Changers has created a community of people who I can say instead of friends, I’ve created family here.”

Steven’s connection with Reality Changers extended beyond academic support; it fostered a sense of community, giving rise to a newfound family dynamic. The program’s dedicated volunteer tutors and staff not only bolsterstudents’ self-assurance but also encourage them to shatter expectations and explore uncharted territories.

A Celebration of Success

Graduation day feels surreal for many Reality Changers students. As they cross the threshold from students to graduates, their achievements symbolize a profound victory over adversity. In Steven’s words, “Four years ago, I never thought of myself going off to college.” The graduation ceremony is a moment of triumph, a celebration of unity among friends, peers, and a supportive Reality Changers family that stands as a testament to the heights the students have reached.

The impact of Reality Changers reaches far beyond individual success stories. Each graduate carries within them the potential to transform not only their own reality but also their families and communities. As these trailblazers chart their paths to higher education, they illuminate a way forward for those around them. The domino effect of achievement reverberates, altering the socio-economic landscape of San Diego in profound ways.

One of 3,300

In a world where dreams can sometimes appear distant, Steven’s Story offers a beacon of hope. It reminds us that when individuals are provided with the tools, guidance, and support they need, they can transcend circumstances and redefine their futures. Just like Steven, there are more than 3,300 Reality Changers success stories, each a testament to the organization’s unwavering commitment to inspiring brighter tomorrows.

“Reality Changers means everything to me,” Steven says. “I was the type of person who didn’t care about about school or academics. Now, my parents are proud that I’m going off to college and starting the next chapter in my life.”

Make a Difference with Reality Changers

If Steven’s inspiring journey through Reality Changers resonates with you and you’re eager to make a difference, there are many ways to get involved. Consider becoming a volunteer, mentor, or supporter of Reality Changers. 

Your contributions can help shape the trajectories of aspiring first-generation college students, offering them a chance to break free from challenging circumstances and realize their full potential. By joining the Reality Changers community, you become part of a transformative force that is changing lives, families, and communities. Your involvement is not just an investment in education, but in the empowerment of future generations.


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