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Annual Report 2017




Our primary purpose is to restore hope to those dealing with life challenges, resurrect lost self-esteem and re-ignite the desire to become the best version of themselves. We do this by teaching the power of thinking and provide a clear understanding of how life choices are made in eight dynamic one hour classes.


Real Life Skills is now reaching a diverse population of individuals. This population includes the homeless in transition, inmates in custody seeking early release, youth-at-risk, and teenagers in the Juvenile Justice system. In 2017 the program was taught to 507 students with 343 graduates versus 479 and 286 in 2016 respectively.


The Real Life Skills program is now taught in 11 agencies compared to 6 last year. And our teaching staff has doubled to six this year compared to three last year. The agencies receiving our program are; San Diego Rescue Mission, PATH, East Mesa Re-entry Facility, Las Colinas Detention Center, Core Civic, East Mesa Juvenile Detention, Girls Rehab Facility, HR360, San Pasqual Academy, and at our corporate office. 



Last year we added three new important agencies to Real Life Skills. They are, East Mesa Juvenile Detention Center, Girls Rehab Facility, and San Pasqual Academy in Escondido. The youth at East Mesa and at Girls Rehab are in the Juvenile Justice system. Youth who have aged out of foster care and discharged reside at San Pasqual. 


Our teachers say the best use of their time is to work with young teens who are at a pivotal place in their life. Our curriculum is designed to help the students better understand one’s-self, build self- esteem and help create a new path going forward. 


Evaluations from three teenage girls say, “I learned I have potential in me, just have to unlock it.”  “I feel my mistakes can be things I learn from and use to teach my daughter not to do.” “The course has taught me to think before I react.”


Our goal is to expand our teaching program to reach to all at-risk-youth in our community. 


Homeless (in Transition)

There are many factors that make it difficult for the homeless to overcome; depression, low-self-esteem, addictions, loss of income, etc. Real Life Skills is dedicated to help the homeless with our program. The beginning of this restoration project must be internal. They must be reminded and convinced they already possess incalculable value and this is what we do by introducing them to an untapped resource, THEIR OWN MIND. The number one skill in Real Life Skills is thinking! All successful individuals understand that right thinking is the key to a meaningful and productive life.


We believe the homeless in shelters have taken a first step in demonstrating their desire for a better life. We build on this desire in our classes that are designed to restore self-respect and dignity, rebuild confidence, and develop a purposeful life.


Prisoners Returning to Society

When men, women and teenagers go to jail or juvenile hall for making a bad choice(s), what is our responsibility? We pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to house, feed, clothe and guard them. Are they  redeemable? Can they learn from their mistakes and become model citizens? Yes, we believe many can!


In September, we added a new agency known as the HR360 Stop Program. They engaged us, under contract, to teach Real Life Skills to a group of men that have served their full prison time. They are in a sponsored safe house for 3 months during the transition back into society. Our program is mandatory, taught once a week in the evening so it will not interfere with their needs to find jobs. There are 10 men in this program.


Our program is being taught to other inmates that are in re-entry programs who are selected for early release, usually within a year. In eight life changing lessons we teach this population that failure can be a blessing in disguise, designed to re-route them to a better destination. We teach them that adversity can make them stronger, wiser, and better if they will look at their situation with a positive mental attitude. We teach them how to think successfully, and if they persevere they will become a better version of themselves. We teach them the next chapter in their lives is the most important chapter and how they can create a significant and successful future. 


How do we know the program works?

Our students tell us on their class evaluations and verbally about the transformation that takes place in their minds and lives. Further evidence is from written class evaluations, class participation, student testimonials, feedback from caseworkers, and enthusiastic support from the agencies we serve and available to view on our web site at:


Time to Give Thanks

We are grateful to God for the opportunities we have to serve and help an increasing population of people suffering from homelessness, extreme stress, poor decisions, broken lives, health issues, job losses, drugs, financial hardships, and lack of resources.


We are thankful for our financial contributors and the two foundations that continue to provide needed financial support.  Our financial position is shown at the end of this report


I want to give a special thank you to all our volunteers, board members, and our staff of dedicated teachers who have given so much of their time and talent to Real Life Skills to help serving others. We are continually inspired and blessed by those whose lives have been changed and are finding a purposeful life.





Richard Karlson


                                                    Financial Highlights-2017


                             Total Income                        $46,425     


                                 Functional Breakdown of Expenses:

                                                Program expenses      $26,886      83.2%

                                                Fundraising                          442        1.4%

                                                Administrative              $  4,983      15.4%

                                                 Total                              $32,311


                                       Net Change for year            $14,114


                                      Net Assets-Beg of Year         $13,289


                                      Net Assets-End of Year         $27,403

 Board Members in 2017

Richard Karlson, President

James Robins, Executive Director

Robinson Devadhason, Treasurer

Susan Zlaket, Secretary

Bruce Menser, Board member

John Pressler, Board member

Deb Mitchell, Board member

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