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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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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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Announcing Pivotal's Professional Badging Program!

Growing into adulthood and navigating through new financial and career challenges is stressful! We’ve all struggled at some point to file taxes or address workplace conflict. Heck, it’s not easy! And because we are aware of the extra challenges current and former foster youth face, here at Pivotal we’re always thinking of new ways to help our scholars set the foundation for long-term success. 

Ensuring students have access to social capital, networks, and career...

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How the Shadow's Edge Game Helped Young People in Foster Care Discover Their Inner Strength

We are so excited to share this guest blog from Megan Eaton, who is Manager of Enrichment Services over at Pivotal - an amazing nonprofit that helps those in the foster youth community by providing education and employment support so they can graduate high school and college and achieve their dreams for success. With over 400,000 kids in foster care, and with those kids not always getting the support they need to succeed, this organization is absolutely pivotal and deserves the highest of...

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Designing my Own Path

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...

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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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Exported Ngonzo

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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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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