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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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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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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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Be Pivotal: Two Ways to Help us Save Summer 2020

By Melissa Johns, Executive Vice President

As we head full steam into June, Pivotal is on a mission to Save Summer 2020! Normally you’d find us spending the last days in May helping high school and collegiate scholars finalize the details of their summer internships, while calming their nerves as they prepare for their first professional jobs. But 2020 is no typical year.

Coronavirus has upended the tradition of summer internships, and young people across the country are feeling the...

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When They're Just Not That Into You

Getting teens to focus on their future can be tricky under normal circumstances, let alone a time hard-hit by a global pandemic. This era of uncertainty triggers a wide variety of responses, and for some, the response is to go quiet and withdraw. Pivotal coaches share their secrets for getting clever and engaging scholars during these tough times. 

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Ashlee Jemmott Joins Pivotal as Director of Strategic Partnerships

by Christine Salinas, Manager of Grants and Communications

Pivotal is thrilled to welcome Ashlee Jemmott as Director of Strategic Partnerships. In her new role, Ashlee will work towards creating positive change within the foster care ecosystem. We caught up with Ashlee to learn more about her journey into nonprofit work and the road that brought her to this new role at Pivotal.

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Pivotal Coaches Provide Additional Academic Support

By Christine Salinas, Grants Manager 

With COVID-19, high school students everywhere are dealing with a lot more than they are used to. We caught up with Chelsea Kolander, Pivotal’s High School Coaching Coordinator II, who shared valuable insight into how high school students from foster care are doing and how Pivotal is supporting them. 
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With College Tours Grounded, We Get Creative

Even under normal circumstances, foster youth don’t have families to take them on college tours. Each year, our high school scholars rely on Pivotal to help them explore their collegiate options, take them on local campus tours, and arrange introductions to professors and staff who can answer questions for youth.

But, as we continue to shelter-in-place, how do we help our kids explore colleges when everything is shut down? We get creative! 

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Pivotal Receives a $50,000 Grant Award from The Upwork Foundation

We are proud to announce that Pivotal is the proud recipient of a $50,000 grant from The Upwork Foundation. The award supports our Path to Self-Sufficiency for Foster Youth Program, which provides focused academic and employment coaching to over 300 high school and college participants in Silicon Valley, and prepares and places 115 scholars into paid summer internships.

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