Connected Futures - Connecting Teens with Hope

Whether you are a teenager seeking to live a meaningful life or you're at a stage when you're seeking to leave a meaningful gift, all of our futures are connected. Reality Changers' students will impact our region's quality of life for generations to come and your gift to Reality Changers will change our students' futures forever.

Reality Changers believes that college changes everything.  This is why Reality Changers helps low-income youth become first generation college students and guides high-performing 12th graders to the nation's top colleges. 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. Our vision and ultimate goal is to create universal access to college, one community at a time. Since the program’s inception, program graduates have earned over $120,000,000 in scholarships to attend institutions such as UCSD, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, NYU, Princeton, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and UCLA (among other top-25 institutions), including 29 Gates Millennium Scholarship recipients. 

When people think about San Diego, often there is a picture of sunny days, beautiful surf, happy and fulfilled Californians.  However, Reality Changers is headquartered in the San Diego neighborhood of City Heights, a place once called "the rotting core of America's Finest City."

It is where less than 3% of adults in Reality Changers' locality have a college diploma.

Furthermore, 78% of City Heights residents speak a language other than English and 50% were born outside the United States. In terms of financial resources, City Heights families live on a median income of $35,776, or just more than half the countywide median income of $63,373. In some City Heights patrol areas, police report a rate of nearly 40 crimes per 1,000 residents, in no small part because students at the local high school are nearly twice as likely to drop out of school as their peers district-wide. When our programs reach the lowest-performing students in the poorest parts of town, we reduce dropout and incarceration rates while increasing graduation rates. 

Our youth's futures are in our hands.  Join us by making a simple bequest, creating a charitable trust, purchasing a charitable gift annuity or contributing a property through a life estate to guarantee a stream of income for yourselves, and for future generations.

When you join our Connected Futures Society you will be making a difference in the lives of hundreds of underprivileged youth, that are the leaders of tomorrow.

Consider these questions:

  1. Have you considered creative ways to give that involve your estate plan?
  2. Did you know you could consolidate all your regular donations for the next 5 years and take the entire tax deduction this year?
  3. If you own real estate, you probably know you will have to pay nearly 25% tax when selling the property. Would you like to hear about how you can avoid that 25% tax by committing to a 10% gift at the end of your lifetime?
  4. Did you know that you can give your Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) directly to Reality Changers, avoid the income tax, and get a tax deduction for the gift? 
  5. Are you aware that key financial tools (ie. 401(k), IRA, Life Insurance, etc) are critical to your safeguarding your future? And they can be excellent tools to use in your charitable giving too?
  6. Would you like to learn how to pass on your philanthropic passion to your children and grandchildren?

If any of these topics are of interest to you, or you have further questions, please contact Lauren Tullis at or 619.516.2222.  Lauren will be happy to connect you with a team member that can discuss your needs.



For an overview on charitable planning, take a minute to watch the presentation below.

About Reality changers

From 1996 to 2001, Reality Changers’ Founder & President, Christopher Yanov, worked as a youth director near downtown San Diego. The majority of teens with which he first worked with were involved with drugs and gangs. As time progressed, Chris saw that poor academic results quickly opened the floodgates to a plethora of even more problems, including violence, vandalism, teen pregnancy, and even death.

To respond to this challenge, Reality Changers started in 2001 with just four students and $300 to its name. It is based on the principle that it is just not right that most inner-city students today know more people who have been shot or killed in the street than people who are on the road to college.

Through the years, Reality Changers has learned that every facet of our services needs to be programmed in a very intentional way. This means that whether it is dismantling a weekend of mischief with a well-planned community service event, or staying up all night to finish college essays with 30 friends, we do what it takes to make sure our students are supported in the ways they need it most. 

We couldn't do what we do without the individuals and organizations that support Reality Changers.

We are hoping to have you join us as we move forward with our mission.

Our students are planning for their futures...are you planning for yours?