City Heights students Rosa Olascoaga and David Camacho were selected and flown to Sacramento to attend the swearing-in ceremony for the 69th speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins.
students attended alongside Reality Changers’ Founder and President
Christopher Yanov and received a special invitation from Assemblywoman
Camacho is a ninth grader at Hoover High School, where he is active
in the ROTC program and the varsity swim team. Olascoaga is graduating
from Patrick Henry High next month and has accepted admittance to the
University of San Francisco in the fall.
Olascoaga and Camacho were selected to attend after Atkins asked Christopher Yanov, Reality Changers’ Founder and President to select two of the organization’s students to attend the ceremony. The students
were selected based on their community and program involvement, as well as their academic achievements.
“I have been interested in politics and community organizing ever
since I was in eighth grade and I had the privilege of introducing First
Lady Michelle Obama during her visit to City Heights,” said Olascoaga. “It is an honor to have been selected to witness the swearing-in of one
of the only females to be Speaker of the Assembly, especially since she
is from San Diego. She is an incredibly role-model for females.”
“I was very excited to be able to watch Speaker Toni Atkins as she
was sworn-in this afternoon. The entire day was unbelievable,”
said Camacho, “it was exciting to be able to participate in such an
Camacho is a daily presence at Reality Changers, where he raised his
GPA by a full grade point after just six weeks of being in the program.
As the top-performing member of Reality Changers' Delegation, Camacho
all around San Diego about the struggles he faced as an inner-cit
student and how he was able to overcome them.
His goal of becoming the first person in his entire family to attend
college will be realized this summer when he will attend UCSD's Academic
Connections on a $4,000 scholarship provided by Reality Changers.
Academic Connections is a three-week program in July where high school
students from around the world live on campus
and take college-level classes for college-prep credit. Just last week,
Camacho was selected to participate in the Aaron Price Fellows
A 12th grader at Patrick Henry High School and plans to attend the
University of San Francisco in the fall on a scholarships worth nearly
$200,000, Olascoaga was selected as an eighth grader to introduce First
Lady Michelle Obama during Mrs. Obama's first and only visit to City
Heights. This event inspired Rosa to complete over 4,000 hours of
community service during her high school years, serving others on
practically a daily basis as a student leader at Reality Changers and
She also serves on the San Diego Youth Commission
and has been one of the lead advocates for creating more park space in
City Heights, where the density of the population is greater than any
other part of the San Diego region. Through her efforts (and as a direct
result of her
brother getting hit by a car while riding his skateboard across an
intersection), Rosa successfully secured the support to build a new
skate park in City Heights.
She has also attended UCSD's Academic Connections for the past three
summers and even spent one week of her summer vacation in 2012 studying
on the side of an active
volcano through a program offered by the University of Hawaii.