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Welcoming Chelsey Souza - Chief Development Officer

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This month, we’re welcoming Chelsey Souza, who is joining Pivotal as our new Chief Development Officer. A passionate fundraiser, Chelsey is known for her philanthropic development expertise, enthusiasm for ethical fundraising, and keen ability for inspiring volunteers.

Since entering the social sector in 2001, Chelsey worked as a staff member, volunteer, and consultant at robust organizations such as Second Harvest Food Bank of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Californians for Justice, and Community Solutions. Most recently, she ran the Essex...

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Welcoming Nkia Richardson - Board Member

Nkia Richardson is the Executive Director of CASA of San Mateo County, a position she took on in 2018 after serving on the organization’s Board of Directors for five years. A passionate advocate for children and families, Nkia began her legal career as a dependency attorney in Los Angeles County where she represented children and parents in cases of child abuse and neglect. Prior to joining CASA, Nkia worked as a Senior Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Jose, where she litigated...

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The Pivotal 2022 Annual Report is Here!

Join us in celebrating the accomplishments of the scholars we served in the 2021-22 Academic Year and read more about how Pivotal aims to reach even more young people from foster care as we continue our mission to provide foster youth with the education, career, and life they want for themselves.

FY22 - Program Impacts Page Stats for Blog

Our cover story is about Anaztajia, who talks about how the Pivotal team went above and beyond to guide her to an on-time high school graduation and acceptance into UC Santa Barbara.


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Introducing Pivotal's New CEO - Matt Bell

In January, Pivotal welcomed our new CEO, Matt Bell. For much of the past two decades, Matt has worked to ensure that marginalized and underserved communities have equal access to education, work, and independent living opportunities. He feels passionately that regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, or family structure, these fundamental tenets of life should be accessible to all people. 

Most recently, Matt served as Executive Director of Via Services,...

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Meet Candy

Growing up, Candy had big hopes and dreams for her future. First, she wanted to be an engineer, then a zoologist, then a pediatrician. When her uncle became a nurse, she saw how dedicated he was to helping others, and the life he built for himself, it sparked her interest. She talked it through with friends, thought about it more, and realized she wanted to follow in his footsteps and become a neonatal nurse. 

Having role models and adults who can provide guidance and lead by example is...

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Meet Savasia

Savasia was placed in foster care early in her high school years. At a time when she wanted to focus on her education, graduating, and just being a typical high schooler, she suddenly found herself emotionally overwhelmed by everything happening to her. Over the course of her time in care, she had to manage huge changes in her life and her support structure. Her social workers changed frequently, as did her therapists, and every time she sought help from a new person, she had to tell her...

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Giving Tuesday 2022

Thank you for taking a moment to read my story.

As a young woman from foster care, I’ve faced my share of hardships. I knew that my chances of graduating high school, let alone college, and finding a successful career were slim to none. There were times when I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to escape the statistics. I felt no hope for my future. All that changed when I found Pivotal.

My coach, Sue, wholeheartedly believed in me and my aspirations to go to college. I wanted...

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National Hispanic Heritage Month 2022

Between September 15 and October 15, we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month and the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. 

Nearly half of our Pivotal scholars are Hispanic or Latinx and we want to take this opportunity to celebrate and learn more about what motivates them and their connection to Pivotal. We asked some of our coaches, scholars, and alumni to share a few words...

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Meet Our Newest Board Members!

Three new board members have joined the Pivotal team this year! We’re so excited to introduce you to all of them!

Maribeth Portz has lived in the Bay Area since 1999 coming here to join the tech sector where she worked for both Intel and Apple.  She got to know her new community by joining the Junior League of San Jose (JLSJ) where she volunteered and collaborated with organizations such as the Children's Discovery Museum, Parents Helping Parents, Sunday Friends, and LifeMoves...

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Meet Davina

By Davina Lopez
Pivotal Scholar

I have been part of the Pivotal community since 2017, when it was Teen Force. Like most people, I’ve faced my share of hardships as well as victories.  There were times when I felt no hope for my future, convinced I wouldn’t be able to escape the statistics of being a foster youth.

For so long, I’d heard that a foster youth’s chances of graduating high school, let alone college, and finding a successful career were slim to none. But...

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Pivotal Launches "On the Move" Initiative to Expand Education and Career Support for Foster Youth

Campaign encompasses growth across counties, younger ages, and advocacy efforts 

SAN JOSE, Calif., - September 13, 2022 – Pivotal, the only nonprofit in Silicon Valley focused exclusively on meeting the educational and career needs of foster youth, today announced an expansion of services to reach a broader age range and wider geography. The Pivotal on the Move initiative encompasses three focus areas to expand impact. The agency, which has over 30 years of experience supporting...

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Summer Challenge 2022

Every summer, we throw down the gauntlet for our high school students as they take on the Pivotal Summer Challenge. Designed to give our young people an outlet for self-expression and learning over the summer, the Summer Challenge provides students with prompts for activities they can do to stay active, learn more about the world and get to know themselves and the people around them a little better. 

Students select activities from a list of 16 in four different categories: Connect,...

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