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Meet Savasia

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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 story again, reliving her trauma and the challenges she had experienced. 

“It was hard to...

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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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TAY Summit - Pivotal Scholars Pay it Forward

On Wednesday, August 3, 2022 Pivotal was proud to partner with San Mateo County Children and Family Services Independent Living Program and Central Labor Council Partnership to host the 16th Annual TAY (Transition Aged Youth) Summit.

The day provided an opportunity for young people from foster care to learn from and meaningfully connect with other current and former foster youth. Hosted at Beresford Park, the event included a fabulous picnic, outdoor recreational activities, and...

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The Pivotal Experience

What is your personal brand? What is it really like to do the job you’re dreaming of? 

These are a couple of the questions we posed to our post-secondary students this summer. To help them find answers, they participated in the Pivotal Experience – a summer program that helps students get an in-depth understanding of the careers they’re interested in, understand, and develop their personal brand, and create strong resumes. The four-week experience culminates in an...

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Pivotal CEO Elise Cutini Recognized with Regional Jefferson Award for Public Service

We’re so excited to announce that Pivotal’s CEO Elise Cutini has been awarded a regional Jefferson Award for Public Service for the life-changing impact she has made in the lives of foster youth! 

The Jefferson Awards recognize individuals who are making a difference in their communities. Elise has led Pivotal for over 16 years and we’re thrilled to see her hard work and dedication acknowledged and honored! Check out the video below. 



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Pride Month and RISE

As we celebrate Pride month at Pivotal, we want to acknowledge the fact that a disproportionate percentage of foster youth – 30.4% - identify as LGBTQ+ as compared to 11.2% of youth not in foster care. In addition, 5% of foster youth identify as transgender, as compared to 1.17% of youth not in foster care. 

According to the Trevor Project, LGBTQ youth from foster care are 3 times more likely to report a past-year suicide attempt and have nearly 4 times greater odds of being...

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Preparing Pivotal scholars for their summer internships - Thank you Macy's!

As the days get warmer and the school year comes to an end, many students are taking the summer to relax and unwind. But for our Pivotal scholars, June means it’s time to get ready for summer internships. Our foster youth scholars love the Pivotal Internship Program which gives them hands-on professional experience that aligns with their career goals and allows them to earn some money over the summer months. And it’s a win-win - Silicon Valley employers who choose a Pivotal intern...

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