Where are they Now: Jonathan

In 2001, Jonathan was part of the first-ever class of Reality Changers students. Growing up, college was an aspiration for him and his family. With his involvement in Reality Changers, Jonathan was able to find a community of like-minded peers, all with the goal of becoming the first in their family to go to college. 

However, Jonathan faced financial barriers to complete his degree. He received a full ride scholarship to Point Loma Nazarene University but this scholarship wouldn’t cover the additional expenses of attending college. At the time, Reality Changers was a growing organization with needs for additional support. They hired Jonathan to provide his skills and experience to the organization, allowing him to pay for his additional expenses. 

His experiences as a student, and later as a staff member of the program, helped him identify his career path and passion. During his time on staff at Reality Changers, Jonathan helped open and run a second location for Reality Changers in North County. He held many responsibilities such as organizing volunteers, students, and parents; coordinating sessions, and ensuring that the program ran smoothly. He recalls the Scholarship Celebrations as one of the highlights of his time with Reality Changers. During these events, he heard inspiring graduate speeches and watched his students celebrate their accomplishments. He was able to see how he and his co-workers truly impacted students’ lives, just as his life has also been impacted by the organization.

Jonathan graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2005 with a degree in Psychology, and, in 2019, he attained a Masters in School Counseling at San Diego State University. Currently, Jonathan works as an urban education consultant, facilitating workshops for schools, administrators, and school counselors to help them better serve their underrepresented students by identifying equity gaps and their root causes. In addition, Jonathan is also a public speaker, using his platform to empower underrepresented students in their pursuit of higher education. In 2019, he took to the Tedx Talk stage to speak about the importance of language in the way we talk about first-generation and low-income youth. 

Jonathan’s story and journey with Reality Changers is one of resilience and strength, and his ongoing support of first-generation students continues to change lives today.



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