Reality Changers Honors Over 500 San Diego Youth at 15th Annual Scholarship Celebration

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Local non-profit celebrates 500 students who earned over $20,000,000 in scholarships to top universities

These students have overcome tremendous odds. They are a testament to what one can accomplish with a lot of determination and some guidance along the way.

As a young child, Lesley Guerana was forced to grow up in and around hospitals due to her mother’s lupus and father’s chronic back problems. She herself was diagnosed with a preauricular sinus that required three surgeries and countless visits to the hospital. These health issues only inspired Lesley to focus on her education and have a clearer vision of her future career path in neuroscience. Lesley’s hard work has paid off - she will soon graduate from San Diego Early/Middle College and have her entire college education paid for as a Gates Millenium Scholar. This year, a total of 7 Reality Changers students received the distinct honor and will have their bachelor, master, and PhD degrees paid for.

Lesley’s peers at Reality Changers have amazing stories to celebrate as well. On Sunday, May 17th, 2015 Reality Changers will host its 15th Annual Scholarship Celebration to recognize nearly 300 high school seniors who will be earning over $20,000,000 in scholarships and attending colleges across the nation. The organization will also be honoring its 8th-11th grade students earning scholarships to attend UCSD’s Academic Connections and a summer leadership camp. “These students have overcome tremendous odds,” says Reality Changers’ Founder & President Christopher Yanov. “They are a testament to what one can accomplish with a lot of determination and some guidance along the way.”

This year’s event is the region’s only gathering of its kind - celebrating higher education in a festive environment including music, videos, and student speakers. Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins , Supervisor Greg Cox , City Councilmember Marti Emerald , and County Treasurer Dan McAllister will laud the tremendous accomplishments of Reality Changers’ students.

SeaWorld is the presenting sponsor - all venue costs will be covered so that 100% of ticket sales, sponsorships, and donations will help Reality Changers build more college students.

General Admission is $25 per ticket and VIP Tickets are $150 each. Tickets are available to purchase at http://realitychangers.org/scholarship-celebration/

EVENT INFORMATION:

Reality Changers’ 15th Annual Scholarship Celebration
Presented by SeaWorld

Date: Sunday, May 17th, 2015

SeaWorld San Diego - Shamu Stadium
500 Sea World Drive
San Diego, CA 92109

4:00 p.m. - Will Call opens; Complimentary Parking and Park Admission begins

6:00 p.m. - Pre-Show & VIP Reception

7:00 p.m. - Official Program

About Reality Changers: http://realitychangers.org/

REALITY CHANGERS transforms 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 will have earned $100,000,000 in scholarships by 2016. During one of three visits, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described Reality Changers as "a model for the nation."

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Angela Yen
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