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This National Foster Care Month, Pivotal is proud to celebrate the relentless pursuit of our community of students who, despite the odds stacked against them, continue to persevere towards a limitless future. Their success in attending college isn’t just their own – it is a big part of their family’s success, and we are proud to support them through this arduous journey. Check out our National Foster Care Month page to learn about our other scholars. 


By Theresa G. Pivotal Alumnus

I had to grow up pretty fast. My father was a gang member and abusive. One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was put him in jail when I was in my teens. At 16-years-old, I entered the foster system. As you can imagine, high school was tough for me–I just wanted to be done and close that chapter of my life. So despite everything going on, I worked hard to graduate early.  

When I started at San Jose City College, I lived in Gilroy. I would wake up at 5 a.m. every morning and take the bus for two hours to get to my 8 a.m. class in time. When I found Pivotal, a world of possibilities opened up for me. The staff at Pivotal helped me navigate my educational journey, build a professional portfolio, and find two internships. But more importantly, Pivotal gave me structure and belonging. They helped open doors that I never thought were an option for me. If they didn’t know the answer to my questions or offer the services I needed, they found a way.  

When I wanted to quit, I kept going because I had a whole team of people supporting me. And when I started to think about professional development, Tom, from Pivotal’s Internship Program, was there for me. I remember when I met Tom, he asked me, “What is it that YOU want? If there were no limits, what would you want for yourself?” No one had asked me that before. He ignited a fire within me and at that moment, I realized I didn’t have to settle.  

I went on to complete two internships through the Pivotal program, one of which turned into the full-time job I have now at local tech company, Aferro. I eventually transferred from San Jose City College and recently graduated from San Francisco State University. I’m happy, healthy, and blazing my own path to success.  

Theresa Spotlight 02

Being in the foster care system can make a child feel powerless, unable to change their situation. Nothing is in your control. I moved from home to home, with no structure or consistency. Pivotal gave me the structure that every child needs. They helped me unleash a level of boldness that I never knew I had. I took control of my life and moved forward, onward, and upward!