Kevin Wong dedicated more than 1000+ hours over the past 9 years with the majority of his hours spent tutoring our College Town students.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I joined Reality Changers (RC) as a volunteer through UCSD’s Circle K group in 2011. I received my Bachelor’s degree from UCSD and a Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins. I have recently moved to the Bay Area to work as a scientist at Impossible Foods.
What made this volunteer experience meaningful to you?
It felt like I was having an impact. I could see the impact I had on students as I watched them grow from freshmen to seniors and the smiles they had as they held up their college sweatshirts at the Scholarship Celebration. When I see them over time at events, such as the Alumni Network reunions, I can see the impact that I had.
Tell us about a time that was especially meaningful for you as a Reality Changers volunteer?
Before I began as a tutor I had an opportunity to attend Forest Home in 2011. Shoutout to Michael Gaulden for sharing his story as it was extremely moving and impactful.
How did volunteering at Reality Changers have an impact on you?
I developed a “pay it forward” mindset. I invested in students’ futures and relationships with them. Students would communicate with me when they needed something and that’s how I knew that I had not only developed trust with them but I was having an impact.
What is the most memorable accomplishment(s) of your volunteer experience?
Almost 10 years of Tuesday night dinners! But really, seeing students graduate from Reality Changers and move on and to seeing them graduate from college. Those were the most rewarding experiences.
If you could encourage someone else to volunteer, what would you say?
It’s about the impact and bonds you make just by showing up. It feels like a family to have young people who look up to you–they’re like my little brothers and sisters.