On October 23rd, fundraising game changers could be seen rappelling down the side of the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego – all to help local students! Reality Changers, an SDG&E Inspiring Future Leaders partner, hosted its annual “Over the Edge” fall fundraising event to support first-generation college students. All participants that raised $1,000 or more were given the opportunity to rappel down the side of the 34-story building. Brave participants included our own Director of Electric Engineering, Nick Moran who is also a Reality Changers board member, and Janice Roussel, our President's Executive Assistant, who was one of the top fundraisers.
Nick Moran shared his support for the organization, “I joined the board of Reality Changers in March 2021, and they did not warn me that part of my board duties would be rappelling down one of the highest buildings downtown! It was actually such an exciting experience doing Over the Edge this year and knowing that over $88k was raised for this event alone. Over the past year and a half, I’ve watched these remarkable young adults overcome so much adversity – gang influence, incarcerated family members, and even refugees of war – all to become first-generation college students accepted to some of the best universities in the nation. I’m incredibly proud to be part of this organization and to continue building tomorrow’s leaders.”
The mission of Reality Changers is to prepare youth to become first-generation college graduates and agents of change in their communities. The fundraising efforts contribute to their goal this year of supporting 500 high school students and more than 3,000 program graduates. The event was a huge success with over 40 fundraisers participating and over 150 supporters in attendance to watch. As seen in action by the employees taking on the Over the Edge fundraising challenge, we are committed to empowering the diversity and strength of our future workforce.
Our Inspiring Future Leaders demonstrating initiative supports the local STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs of our non-profit partners that are inspiring the next generation of diverse innovators and leaders in our communities. As a part of this giving initiative, we are a grant contributor to the Reality Changers’ Career Connections program which is particularly important for students interested in STEM fields as the demand for STEM leaders grows in the San Diego region.
Career Connections breaks down barriers for first-generation students interested in STEM by creating an infrastructure and educational tools within the Reality Changers community, providing students with access to academic preparation, mentorship, internships, and job placements. High school students in the program are provided weekly tutoring, mentoring, coaching, leadership development and college application support.
"After we finished the college applications, we talked about things like living in dorms, getting used to the school, and getting involved. Because of Reality Changers, I feel prepared to go to college." -Olivia, Reality Changers Class of 2022
Learn more about how Reality Changers inspires and prepares students for their academic and professional careers here.