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Reality Changers

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Reality Changers Sends 100 Inner-City High School Students to Live The Collegiate Experience at UCSD

The San Diego based non-profit has provided scholarships for over 700 to attend UCSD’s Academic Connections program to date.

San Diego, CA, July 21, 2016 --( Recently, Reality Changers hosted a visit to UCSD’s Academic Connections where 100 of its students get to experience college as high school students. UCSD Academic Connections is a three week program where students have the opportunity to live the collegiate experience by taking a college level course and living in UC San Diego dorms. There are over 20 class offerings, including: Introduction to Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Exploring Youth Subculture: A Sociological Perspective, and Photo Essay: Seeing San Diego Through Image and Text.

“Reality Changers focuses on the toughest and highest potential youth living in the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city,” says Founder & President Christopher Yanov. “What happens is that by raising their grades from below a 2.0, to say a 3.5 and above, going to UC San Diego over the summer after 9th, 10th, and 11th grade for three weeks, taking college classes, believing and becoming convinced they can succeed at a college level – the sky’s the limit.”

To date, Reality Changers has provided scholarships for over 700 students to attend UCSD’s Academic Connections. The program not only shows inner-city students that higher education is attainable, but also gives these students the opportunity to explore potential college majors and career paths.

About Reality Changers

Reality Changers believes that college changes everything, especially for low-income, inner-city youth.

That’s why the mission of Reality Changers is to transform lives, schools, and communities by providing youth from disadvantaged backgrounds with the academic support, financial assistance, and leadership training to become first generation college students.

After Reality Changers began in 2001 with just four 8th-grade students and $300 to its name, the program's graduates have earned $100,000,000 in scholarships. During one of three visits, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described Reality Changers as "a model for the nation." To learn more about Reality Changers, visit

About Academic Connections

The UC San Diego Academic Connections pre-college program connects high achieving high school students with college subject matter courses led by graduate students in a wide array of academic disciplines, renown UCSD faculty researchers and subject matter experts in the field.
Contact Information
Reality Changers
Angela Yen

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