Former President Vicente Fox to Join Reality Changers’ Board of Directors

Mexico’s Former Head of State Will be the Board’s Newest Prominent Director.

San Diego, CA, October 24, 2017 --( Former President of Mexico Vicente Fox will join Reality Changers' Board of Directors effective November 8th, 2017. Marta Sahagún de Fox, Mexico’s former first lady, will serve as Reality Changers’ first honorary board chair.

President and Mrs. Fox are long-time supporters of Reality Changers, having first visited the program that builds first generation college students in 2011. President Fox was also the keynote speaker at Reality Changers’ 14th Annual Scholarship Celebration in 2014. Over the past two summers, 24 students who live near Fox’s Presidential Library in Guanajuato, Mexico, have joined scores of Reality Changers students at UCSD’s Academic Connections, a three-week residential program where high school students from around the world take college-level classes and earn college-prep credit.

President Fox, who served as the 55th President of Mexico from 2000-2006, believes that what Reality Changers has done in San Diego to steer youth away from gangs can be just as successful in deterring teens in Mexico from joining drug cartels.

"The strategies that (Reality Changers’ Founder & President) Christopher Yanov offers... should not only be implemented in the United States, but worldwide,” President Fox said after reading a draft of Yanov’s forthcoming book, The Tightrope Theory. “Today's youngest generation must have better options than joining street gangs or working with drug cartels and Reality Changers makes me believe that accomplishing such a goal is possible."

President Fox will join current board members representing Reality Changers’ communities, families, and graduates. He will also join seven other prominent leaders who began serving on Reality Changers’ board of directors last month. They are:

Kimberley Phillips Boehm, former Provost of Mills College [Board Chair]
Marcela Celorio, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego
Lisa Davidson, Director of Customer Programs at SDG&E
Nicole DeBerg, COO of the J. Craig Venter Institute [Treasurer]
James McElroy, former Board Chair of the Southern Poverty Law Center [Vice Chair]
Ken Nwadike Jr., Founder of the Free Hugs Project
Dana Saxten, TS Restaurants, long-time Reality Changers supporter

Over the last six months, Reality Changers’ board of directors has reshaped itself to provide more capacity and to become more diverse in the following ways:

More Capacity

Current board members have already donated more in 2017 than in any other prior year.

More board members have been elected this school year than in any other prior year.

More Diverse

Age - Board members represent every decade from the 1940s to the 1990s.
Ethnicity - No ethnicity has more than 40% representation on the board.
Gender - The board is majority female for the first time.
Representation - Board members include program graduates, parents, community members, donors, and sponsors.

As the new Board Chair of Reality Changers, Kimberley Phillips Boehm is eager to lead Reality Changers’ growing impact throughout the region. “Each member of this Board brings terrific and diverse experiences to an amazing organization committed to helping young people thrive as they finish high school and prepare for higher education,” says Boehm. “We look forward to a dynamic year, beginning with the official welcome for President and Mrs. Fox later this year.”

In upcoming months, Reality Changers will announce events surrounding President Vicente Fox’s future visits to San Diego.

Supplemental Material

Related Videos with President Vicente Fox:
2011 Visit -
2011 Speech -
2014 Visit -
2014 Speech -
2016 UCSD Program -
2017 UCSD Program (Spanish) -

Related Blog Post on Board Diversity:

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 by providing youth from disadvantaged backgrounds with the academic support, financial assistance, and leadership training to become college graduates.

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 several visits, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described Reality Changers as "a model for the nation."
Reality Changers
Lauren Tullis