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The 5:30 A.M. Wake Up Call

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       By Laura Phelps, Pivotal High School Coach  

 

As a high schooler, getting to school by 8 a.m. is typically a bit of a challenge. You can imagine how surprised I was when one of the students I coach told me she was hoping to join the Link Crew, which meant she’d have to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to get to school by 7:00 a.m. While I’m always supportive of extracurricular activities, I knew she was already facing a demanding academic year. I was curious what her motivation was. And what on earth was Link Crew anyway? 

My students explained...

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Pivotal Success Skills - Helping Scholars Reflect on Who They Are & Who They Want to Be

What skills do foster youth need to be successful? That’s what a team of experts at Pivotal set out to determine when they created our new Success Skills tool. The tool helps students discover important traits and behaviors about themselves while bringing to light what areas they need to work on to become successful and thrive. The group landed on five key skills: Self-awarenessCommunication & Self Advocacy...

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Saying Farewell and Thank You to Board Member, Dr. David Lopez

After 14 years serving on the Pivotal board, Dr. David Lopez is stepping down from the position. We caught up with him to reflect on his many years of service and what he’s most proud of.

What drew you to become a Pivotal board member? Why is the Pivotal mission important to you?

I’ve always been dedicated to the education and support of students who are marginalized and who struggle with challenges because of the inequities in our system. I realized that in many cases, foster...

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Extended Foster Care Helps, But Foster Youth Need More Educational Support

By Elise Cutini, Chief Executive Officer, Pivotal  

An abridged version of this op-ed appeared in the Mercury News.

Nearly a decade ago, the AB12 Extended Foster Care Program was put into effect in California. The goal of the program, which allows eligible youth to stay in foster care until age 21, was to provide these young people with the tools necessary to be self-sufficient and socially connected. This was a huge step in the right direction, but 10 years later, two questions...

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Pivotal Scholar Jaskirat Finds her Own Path

By Maria Walters, Sr. Manager of Grants and Communications

Pivotal scholar Jaskirat always imagined going to a 4-year university and becoming a pediatrician. She wanted to help people and give back to her community. When she was accepted to U.C. Davis and received the Pivotal Scholarship it was literally a dream come true. Jaskirat had a vision of what college would be – living in the dorms, meeting new people, and immersing herself in the college experience.

But when she arrived at...

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Zack: From Student to Peer Leader

When Zack started with Pivotal’s STEM program many years ago, he quickly discovered that he had a knack for programming and problem solving. He soon became a peer leader, working with other students to help them troubleshoot problems and eventually teaching workshops on his own. Today, Zack runs his own small business, teaching elementary school students how to code and make games. He talks about his Pivotal...

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Stepping Up to a New School Year - A Message from Pivotal CEO, Elise Cutini

As a new school year starts, I find myself not only reflecting on the past year but wondering just what this new year will bring. I’m so incredibly proud of everything we accomplished last year during a pandemic. For over 30 years, our organization has focused on the importance of one-on-one, face-to-face interactions with our students and so many of our coaching and enrichment programs are built on the idea that we should meet students where they are and be integrated into the...

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Summer 2021 - Interns with Impact

Our goal at Pivotal is to help our students thrive – in life, school and work. We want to give them all the tools they need to become self-sufficient and that includes helping them find the career of their dreams. Pivotal’s Summer Internship Program is one way we help them along their path to success. Interns get real-world experience in the career they’re interested...

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The Digital Divide

By: Destiny Gibson, Pivotal Scholar and 2021 Summer Marketing Intern

Technology has reshaped society forever: from the first computer, which took up an entire room for just five measly megabits of data, to the MacBook that I’m writing this article on now. As technological advancements change the world, the necessities of our everyday lives also change. But although things like computers and phones have become essential to our daily lives, they haven't become that much more accessible to...

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Celebrating Pivotal's 2021 Graduates

It’s graduation season at Pivotal! This year is especially meaningful since the 2020-2021 school year was full of unexpected challenges for our students and the Pivotal coaches who supported them. From navigating remote learning to limited internship and job opportunities, our scholars overcame hurdle after hurdle and our coaches worked tirelessly to provide our services virtually and provide them with as much support as possible. We’re constantly inspired by our scholars and are...

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Cicero: Building a Stable Family for His Daughter

Success means different things to different people. For some, it’s graduating from high school or landing a dream job. For others, it’s having the opportunity to build a stable family. Whatever our scholars define as success, Pivotal strives to get them there. And every time we check in with past scholars and see how far they’ve come, we know we’ve done our job. In our “Where Are They Now?” series, we’re catching up with four Pivotal Alumni to share...
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Toni: A Future Lawyer Set on Changing the World

Success means different things to different people. For some, it’s graduating from high school or landing a dream job. For others, it’s having the opportunity to build a stable family. Whatever our scholars define as success, Pivotal strives to get them there. And every time we check in with past scholars and see how far they’ve come, we know we’ve done our job. In our “Where Are They Now?” series, we’re catching up with four Pivotal Alumni to share...
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