After reviewing more than 50 nominations submitted by current and former foster youth, our selection committee chose Emilio Perdomo as the winner of the 2020 Pivotal Master of Change Award. This award was designed by foster youth to honor the people in their lives who have made a lasting impact.

Pivotal scholar Ximena Bastidas nominated Emilio because of the support he gave her when she first entered foster care. His simple acts of kindness stuck with Ximena, who wanted to let Emilio know how even the little things can make a lasting impact.

Ximena shared in her nomination, “Emilio was a county driver; he drove me from Redwood City to Pacifica three times a week. It was the first few weeks of getting adjusted to being a foster kid, and for some reason, I felt safe with Emilio. Since we had a lot of time together on the drive, he would encourage me and give me hope. We talked about books and music, and as simple as it was, I looked forward to having Emilio pick me up. His job was simply to drive me, but he went above and beyond to make me laugh and attentively listen to me talk about books I had read. It made all the difference to know I could have a few minutes of normalcy during that drive and not worry about court or my housing. Eventually, I stopped needing to be driven, and Emilio and I lost touch. I am nominating him because I still want him to know what a difference he made in my life.”

Congratulations and thank you, Emilio, for making a Pivotal difference for foster youth!