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3 Inspiring Women We're Honoring this Black History Month


Black History Month is both a time to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of Black Americans as well as reflect on the inequities and injustices plaguing our country. At Pivotal, we continue to be amazed and inspired by the Black leaders within our Pivotal family who use their voices to educate communities about the Black foster youth experience. Three incredible Black women we’re celebrating this month are Dr. Kizzy Lopez, Sadé A. Daniels, and Shalita O’Neale.

Kizzy has been a friend and partner of Pivotal for years. She is an assistant professor in Social Work at...

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The Meaning of a Care Package

It’s that time of year -- the smell of roses are in the air and the sound of jewelry jingles surround us. It’s time to spread the love -- but not only on Valentine’s Day and not only to your sweetie! 

The college and high school experience has been overwhelming for many young people this past year. While clinging to the support of family during difficult times is second nature to most, many foster youth simply don’t have that luxury. 

There’s nothing...

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The Family I Never Had

By: McArthur H., Pivotal Alumnus


“In my darkest moments, Pivotal has given me a sense of belonging. They are the family that I never had.” 

When I met Pivotal, I was later on in my life, and in my third attempt to pursue a college degree. Despite the challenges Id faced as a foster youth, I promised myself one thing: That no matter what, I’d get myself to a 4- year university. It was a tough time for me, though. Over...

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Designing my Own Path

By Sarai Mateo, Pivotal Scholar and Summer 2020 Intern

About three years ago, I was introduced to Pivotal while studying at Gavilan College in Gilroy. Right now, I am majoring in Digital Media and planning to transfer to San Jose State University next fall. My goal after graduating is to work in digital design for a Bay Area company or as an animator for a company like Pixar. I was counting on a 2020 summer internship to build my graphic design work experience, and Covid-19 almost changed...

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A Force for Good

By Melissa Johns, Executive Vice President

In this season of gratitude, Pivotal can’t miss out on the opportunity to give a very loud shout out to our friends in the Junior League of San Jose. Its members are incredible women whose service in the community epitomizes voluntarism at its finest. Since the moment this group made the decision in 2016 to prioritize the success of transition age foster youth – there’s been no stopping them as a force for good.

Throughout the past...

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Our Newest Coach Addition!

By Christine Salinas, Managers of Grants and Communications

We love boasting about our fantastic staff members, and we’re thrilled to introduce Katrina Largusa, MSW, as a new member of our coaching team! Coach Katrina served as a Pivotal intern coach during the 2018-2019 academic year and joined us in 2020 as our San Mateo County High School Coach.

Katrina’s personal experience as a sibling to two youth adopted through Alameda County foster care inspired her to pursue a social...

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Announcing our 2020 Master of Change Winner: Emilio Perdomo

After reviewing more than 50 nominations submitted by current and former foster youth, we are thrilled to announce that Emilio Perdomo is our 2020 Master of Change Award Winner! 


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Brothers in Arms

Like so many college students, brothers John and Nemi Ngonzo were concerned that the Covid-19 pandemic would affect their ability to secure a summer internship in Summer 2020. As it turned out, three Pivotal internship partners stepped up to provide John and Nemi with three incredible virtual internship experiences! 

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Thank you, Senator Beall

By Melissa Johns, Executive Vice President

As election day approaches, all eyes are on the candidates vying for your vote. Amidst all that campaign noise, we want to shine light on someone who isn’t looking for your vote this year: California State Senator Jim Beall. After three decades in public service, Senator Beall has completed his final term representing District 15. As a fierce champion for foster youth, he’s been unwavering in his commitment to see children...

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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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From Internship to Employment: Pivotal Is My Bruce Wayne

by Tommy Nguyen, Pivotal Alumnus

Pivotal is like Bruce Wayne - a silent guardian for foster youth. They supported me through my Bachelor’s in Business Administration and helped me get a summer internship at Comerica Bank. And, that internship turned into a job that I love! 

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