By Davina Lopez
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 all that changed when I found Pivotal. I was paired with a coach, Sue Pires, who wholeheartedly believed in me and my aspirations. I wanted to become a role model for my two younger sisters because I believed that if I could make it to college, they could too. I asked Sue to help me with my college applications and she went above and beyond to help me through the process.
I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew I could depend on Sue for anything. It was Sue’s persistence, her patience, and her ability to work side by side with me to accomplish my goals that finally enabled me to get accepted into San Francisco State University with all my financial aid lined up.
Reminiscing back on those days, I am beyond grateful for being a part of Pivotal. This organization has helped guide me and hundreds of other foster youth into universities across the nation and prepared us for our careers. Now, I am entering my fourth year of college where I am double majoring in Mathematics with a Teaching concentration and Business Administration with an Accounting concentration and minoring in Queer Ethnic Studies.
This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to intern with Pivotal’s Enrichment Team where I helped with event planning. I even had the chance to speak with a few high school scholars participating in the Summer Challenge where I saw their fiery passion to create a better life for themselves. They are just like I was back in high school.
It has been an amazing adventure going from being a Pivotal scholar to working with Pivotal’s amazing team as an intern. I have never seen such dedication in an organization, and to temporarily be a part of Pivotal’s team gave me insight into how hard they work and how much they want their scholars to succeed. If it wasn’t for this organization, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I have so many goals that I want to accomplish - it can be daunting. But knowing that I have Pivotal on my side helps me to courageously tackle anything.