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Designing my Own Path

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By Sarai Mateo, Pivotal Scholar and Summer 2020 Intern

About three years ago, I was introduced to Pivotal while studying at Gavilan College in Gilroy. Right now, I am majoring in Digital Media and planning to transfer to San Jose State University next fall. My goal after graduating is to work in digital design for a Bay Area company or as an animator for a company like Pixar. I was counting on a 2020 summer internship to build my graphic design work experience, and Covid-19 almost changed that. But Pivotal came through for me like they have so many times and offered me a summer marketing...

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A Force for Good

By Melissa Johns, Executive Vice President

In this season of gratitude, Pivotal can’t miss out on the opportunity to give a very loud shout out to our friends in the Junior League of San Jose. Its members are incredible women whose service in the community epitomizes voluntarism at its finest. Since the moment this group made the decision in 2016 to prioritize the success of transition age foster youth – there’s been no stopping them as a force for good.

Throughout the past...

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Emilio

Announcing our 2020 Master of Change Winner: Emilio Perdomo

After reviewing more than 50 nominations submitted by current and former foster youth, we are thrilled to announce that Emilio Perdomo is our 2020 Master of Change Award Winner! 

 

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Our Newest Coach Addition!

By Christine Salinas, Managers of Grants and Communications

We love boasting about our fantastic staff members, and we’re thrilled to introduce Katrina Largusa, MSW, as a new member of our coaching team! Coach Katrina served as a Pivotal intern coach during the 2018-2019 academic year and joined us in 2020 as our San Mateo County High School Coach.

Katrina’s personal experience as a sibling to two youth adopted through Alameda County foster care inspired her to pursue a social...

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Thank you, Senator Beall

By Melissa Johns, Executive Vice President

As election day approaches, all eyes are on the candidates vying for your vote. Amidst all that campaign noise, we want to shine light on someone who isn’t looking for your vote this year: California State Senator Jim Beall. After three decades in public service, Senator Beall has completed his final term representing District 15. As a fierce champion for foster youth, he’s been unwavering in his commitment to see children...

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Brothers in Arms

Like so many college students, brothers John and Nemi Ngonzo were concerned that the Covid-19 pandemic would affect their ability to secure a summer internship in Summer 2020. As it turned out, three Pivotal internship partners stepped up to provide John and Nemi with three incredible virtual internship experiences! 

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Building New Muscles through Distance Learning

By Diana Seoud, MA, Post-Secondary Coach  

Due to the nation’s fight against COVID-19, a lot of things look different this school year. We are two months or so into the new school year and many people are wondering how our high school and college students are doing. Every foster youth we serve is on their own path, and I’m happy to share the students I support as a post-secondary coach are doing well. My scholars have settled into remote learning and believe it or not,...

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The Happiest Happy Hour Ever

By Melissa Johns, Executive Vice President

On October 8, we welcomed more than 400 people to Mix Masters 2020. Since we couldn’t gather in person this year, we created an over-the-top virtual happy hour! Thanks to our generous guests and sponsors, we raised more than $125,000 for Pivotal scholarships and programs!

We kicked off the festivities with a live mixology class by Amy O’Neil of Host Events, who led us through the steps to craft two exceptional drinks (Check out the...

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From Internship to Employment: Pivotal Is My Bruce Wayne

by Tommy Nguyen, Pivotal Alumnus

Pivotal is like Bruce Wayne - a silent guardian for foster youth. They supported me through my Bachelor’s in Business Administration and helped me get a summer internship at Comerica Bank. And, that internship turned into a job that I love! 

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Partnerships That Are Truly Life-Changing

by Christine Salinas, Manager of Grants and Communications

Wondering what makes Pivotal scholars graduate college at 10X the rate of other foster youth? With 90% of our scholars starting their college journey at a local community college, it’s clear that high-quality partnerships with our community colleges are critical to their success. San Jose City College (SJCC) stands tall as an example of a great community college partner.

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Never Too Early to Network

Never Too Early to Network

By Melissa Johns, Executive Vice President

It’s not what you know but who you know, right? For youth growing up in foster care, it’s hard to find career mentors and build a professional network. As first-generation college students, they have limited access to professionals who can provide career insights and guidance. To help fill this gap, this summer Pivotal launched a new career development workshop series for its post-secondary scholars. For the...

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Breaking Down Barriers, One FAFSA at a Time

By Janelle Blakely, Director of Development and Christine Salinas, Manager of Grants and Communications 
 
If you attended college in the last few decades, you probably have memories of filling out that burly federal financial aid application form called the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For years, foster youth advocates have worried about the incredibly low number of foster youth accessing free financial aid.  
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