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 so important for young people. When Candy had to go into foster care in the 8th grade, she didn’t feel like she had anyone she could trust. She started to struggle in school. 

“By my senior year, my grades were pretty low,” Candy recalls. “I felt like I had a lot of people telling me what to do and nobody really listening to me or asking what I wanted.” 

When Candy first came to Pivotal and was matched with a coach, she wasn’t sure if she wanted another adult in her life telling her what was best for her. But the partnership she built with her coach was not what she had expected. 

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Only 50% of students growing up in foster care graduate high school. Fortunately, Candy was now part of the 50% who do graduate, and she went on to community college. She was excited to learn that she could continue to work with Pivotal, a pillar of support she knew she could count on, even when she moved out of county and her case closed. She was assigned a new coach when she started college, but her Pivotal high school coach and college coach worked together to make sure Candy felt comfortable and confident in the transition.  

Today, Candy is studying Neonatal Nursing at Merced College. Her Pivotal coach, Sophia, checks in with her regularly, helping her adjust to the transition. She’s considering an eventual transfer to a 4-year college to complete her education and she’s happy to be where she is, learning and growing. 

This holiday season, you can help us continue to support young people like Candy as they work to build the lives they want for themselves. Please consider making an end-of-year donation to Pivotal today that can change a life forever! 

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