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Building New Muscles through Distance Learning

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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, it’s helped them to build some unexpected muscles around communication and self-advocacy...

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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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The Silver Linings of Distance Learning

by Christine Salinas, Manager of Grants and Communications

Parents everywhere are wondering what school will look like this year and worried about the challenges and pitfalls of distance learning. As Pivotal scholars prepare to start the new school year remotely, we asked how they feel about distance learning. Because of their own unique experiences in the foster system, many prefer it over in-person instruction. Here are five things we learned:

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Words from our Scholars!

by Christine Salinas, Manager of Grants and Communications, and Tom Fandre, Senior Business Development Manager

We’re so proud of our graduating college seniors! While the pandemic changed many things in the lives of our Pivotal scholars, not even Covid-19 could stop Naeim, Farhad, Latif, and Diana from achieving their goals. Below we offer some Q&A with these four stellar scholars.

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Pivotal Perspectives - Social Justice Dialogue

by Priya Mistry, Director of Community Initiatives

Pivotal is responding to the murder of George Floyd and the protests that are happening around the country and here at home, with conversations about Black Lives Matters and racial justice. This month, we invite all Pivotal high school, college, and alumni scholars to Pivotal Perspectives Social Justice Dialogue. It will be a safe space for scholars to discuss their thoughts and concerns about race relations, talk about ways to cope in difficult times, and think about how to be active change participants.

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Black Lives Matter: A Letter from Pivotal's CEO and Board President

by Elise Cutini, CEO, and Rick Williams, Board President

Last week, we watched in horror, the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, which was just the latest in a string of deaths that included the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. As our outrage over these events continues and we sit with heavy hearts, we are taking a moment to speak out because silence is no longer an option. For too long, silence and indifference by too many have allowed systemic racism, violence, and unequal justices to continue unchecked. 

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Meet Monserrat

By Janelle Blakely, Director of Development

Incredible is how I describe Pivotal scholar, Monserrat. Inspired is how I felt after I sat down and talked with her.

Monserrat is very educational-oriented, a lover of learning and school. A first-generation college student, she will make her dreams a reality when she attends UC Santa Barbara this fall!

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My Year as a Pivotal Intern Coach

by Peter Phi, High School Coach, and Christine Salinas, Manager of Grants and Communications

Pivotal High School Coach, Peter Phi, reflects on his year as a Pivotal Intern Coach. Peter shares a story about persistence and how working in the service of foster youth scholars has been a game-changer for him. 

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