What skills do foster youth need to be successful? That’s what a team of experts at Pivotal set out to determine when they created our new Success Skills tool. The tool helps students discover important traits and behaviors about themselves while bringing to light what areas they need to work on to become successful and thrive. The group landed on five key skills: Self-awarenessCommunication & Self AdvocacyAssessing & Utilizing ResourcesOrganization & Time Management, and Self-Reliance. Savonna Stender-Bondesson, Director of Coaching Programs, led the charge. 

“Our success skills are unique to foster youth and focus on the now. We want to know how our kids are doing today–not 6 or 7 months from now. This allows us to immediately give them the support and guidance they need.” 

Success Skills guide Pivotal coaches in their 1:1 coaching sessions with scholars. Students work with their coaches to rate themselves in each of the five skill areas, and discuss their responses, reflecting on their rating and developing a set of goals to improve. This thoughtful approach encourages intentional, honest conversations and helps build a strong relationship of open communication and trust between scholars and coaches. Each skill has a set of behaviors associated with it, so students are super clear on what it looks like to put each skill into action. This is especially important for foster youth. “Certain things you learn from your parents and emulate,” Savonna explains. “Like when you see that your parents are always on time to work, you learn time management. Many of the kids we work with don’t have that everyday model in their lives.” 

With this custom tool for foster youth, we can better guide our scholars toward success in school, career, and strength in life. It fits their individual needs and allows them to reflect on who they are and who they want to be.    

Pivotal’s new Success Skills tool is already making a difference for coaches and the scholars they work with.