“There are no words to describe the feeling [of seeing my children go to college]. My children don’t have to have the same life that I did. They can have a better future and they won’t have the same stress. They can decide to be whatever they want to be. They’ll meet people, they’ll travel, they’ll enjoy life.” – Mariela, mother of two Reality Changers students.
Mariela is a volunteer member of the Reality Changers Family Advisory Council. One of her daughters, also named Mariela, is a Reality Changers graduate and senior at UC Merced. Her other daughter, Karla, is a senior at Cathedral Catholic High School, who is currently enrolled in Reality Changers.
According to Mariela, “if it were not for Reality Changers, [my daughter] would not be at a University. There are special programs for first-generation kids at school, but they don’t help like Reality Changers does.”
During her time as a Reality Changers parent, Mariela has learned more about the college application process. She and her daughters value the support that Reality Changers has given them to stay on top of deadlines for paperwork and essays. And the help with reviewing and understanding application materials.
Most importantly, though, Mariela believes that Reality Changers helps to change perspectives about what is possible.
“At Reality Changers,” Mariela explains, “[my daughter] learned that she can make it to college. She had a lot of mentors who kept saying, ‘You can do it. You can do it. We are here for you.’ She learned that it doesn’t matter where you come from. If you are middle class or even very low income, the dream is always there for you. You can get to whatever place you want to be.”
When Mariela thinks about her daughters’ futures, she says that she can’t help but get a little emotional. “[My daughter] will graduate in May and I am going to be in tears. She is going to be the first one to graduate from college. I am honored to be a part of it. And we’ll never forget that Reality Changers is part of it.”
Your donations help to provide free services for families like Mariela’s, including:
– College application assistance
– Financial aid/scholarship application help
– Career readiness programs
– College success support (advising, on-campus networking, and more)
– Career Mentorship
– Parent and family programs