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FY22 - Annual Report Banner 2

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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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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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 Davina Banner

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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Summer Challenge 2022 Banner

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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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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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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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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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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Staff Spotlight - Laura Phelps

For me, it’s the little wins. It's not just looking at the big picture. When one of my students texts me, “I got my essay turned in on time” or “I’m getting an A in Math!” - that’s a win. 

I celebrate the little wins because I know what it is to “lose a kid”. I recently found out that one of the young people I work with is incarcerated. He was unhoused for a while. It’s just terrible especially when you’ve worked hard to...

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Staff Spotlight - Trinh Tong

I’ve worked at a lot of places but I especially enjoy being a part of the Pivotal family for its unique culture of positivity & inclusivity – you know you can be your authentic self and still get the job done.

I graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in social work last year. I knew right away that having hands-on experience was super important. I joined Pivotal as an intern coach supporting high school-aged foster youth with their academics...
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