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Pivotal Coaches Provide Additional Academic Support

Online Call

By Christine Salinas

With COVID-19, high school students everywhere are dealing with a lot more than they are used to. We caught up with Chelsea Kolander, Pivotal’s High School Coaching Coordinator II, who shared valuable insight into how high school students from foster care are doing and how Pivotal is supporting them. 
Pivotal: Being a high school student these days is tough already and COVID-19 has made things even harder. How are our high school scholars generally doing?
Chelsea: Thanks for asking about them. It’s been a difficult time. Some of our...
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SJSU Virtual Campus Tour

With College Tours Grounded, We Get Creative

Even under normal circumstances, foster youth don’t have families to take them on college tours. Each year, our high school scholars rely on Pivotal to help them explore their collegiate options, take them on local campus tours, and arrange introductions to professors and staff who can answer questions for youth.

But, as we continue to shelter-in-place, how do we help our kids explore colleges when everything is shut down? We get creative! 

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Right Now, the World Needs More Helpers

When Silicon Valley began to feel the impact of Covid-19, our young people from foster care turned to us scared.  As their college campuses closed down, many had no family home to return to. The hourly jobs that helped make ends meet were disappearing quickly. Many felt overwhelmed with worries about how they’d make rent, buy groceries, and pay for their internet service.   

Our team knew we had to act fast. A week ago we launched the Emergency Assistance Fund to provide emergency financial support to foster youth whose lives have been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Acer volunteers_blog post
Acer's employees are photographed just before getting down to business to pack 100 Finals Care packages for Pivotal's college scholars.

Yes, You Can!

For most college students, finals can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Receiving a fun package in the mail, a timely phone call or an encouraging text from friends and family can make all the difference to let them know that YES, YOU CAN!

Learn how Acer America, one of the world’s leading information and communications technology firms, supports Pivotal’s foster youth community through our Finals Care Package Volunteer Project.

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upwork foundation logo

Pivotal Receives a $50,000 Grant Award from The Upwork Foundation

We are proud to announce that Pivotal is the proud recipient of a $50,000 grant from The Upwork Foundation. The award supports our Path to Self-Sufficiency for Foster Youth Program, which provides focused academic and employment coaching to over 300 high school and college participants in Silicon Valley, and prepares and places 115 scholars into paid summer internships.

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Delrisha White photo for blog post 2.28.19
Delrisha White poses with Brenda Johnson, her aunt and guardian, and her social worker, Brian Baggaley at her graduation from Bennett College in May 2013.

Historically Black Colleges Give Foster Youth an Edge

by Delrisha White, Ed.M. 

Historically Black Colleges are game-changers for students aging out of the foster care system. They provide sound financial value, a sense of family, and increase the chances for first-generation graduates to move out of poverty and into the middle class. As a Black woman, a former foster youth, and HBCU graduate, I can attest to what these fine institutions do for first-generation students like me.

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Sarah Gentle
Pivotal alumna Sarah Gentle at her graduation from Chico State University.

Pivotal Voices: From Podcaster to Aspiring Policy Maker

by Sarah Gentle

Not even a week after moving back to San Jose from Chico post-graduation, I received a text from my lifelong mentor Savonna, casually asking me if I would like to participate in Silicon Valley Community Foundation's podcast series to talk about Pivotal. As a former foster youth, Pivotal participant, and aspiring policy maker, I immediately agreed and I’m so glad that I did.

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Leap Into a New Year with Pivotal CEO, Elise Cutini

By Janelle Blakely & Christine Salinas

We’re excited to share some of our plans for 2020 with our supporters, and who better to present them than our CEO, Elise Cutini! Read on to learn how she’s leading the 2020 charge to provide deeper services to our community’s foster youth (and a few words about her weekend passion).

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Be Pivotal Jazmine

On Giving Tuesday, Be On Their Side

Does December 3, 2019 ring any bells? Maybe it’s your mom’s birthday?  Or the date of your wedding anniversary?

It’s certainly a date that makes the folks at Pivotal pop right up. After all, December 3, 2019, is GIVING TUESDAY, the second-largest giving day of the year (the largest is December 31)!  

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John Ngonzo, a Pivotal internship program participant, poses with his Summer 2019 Netskope internship supervisors.

Pivotal's Internship Showcase Event is Just Around the Corner!

Pivotal’s ANNUAL INTERNSHIP SHOWCASE is just two days away!

Wondering what a Pivotal college summer internship looks like? Well then. How about you join us at our 2019 Internship Showcase, held at Adobe Headquarters this Thursday, October 24, 2019, from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.  There's still time to RSVP!

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James Wilson

California Senate Bill 150 Is Right for Foster Youth

We’re thrilled that State Bill 150 is finally on Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk. If signed into law, the bill – authored by 15th District Representative Jim Beall - is expected to increase college retention and graduation rates among current and former foster youth by eliminating barriers to receiving financial aid. 

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Pivotal CEO Elise Cutini discussing the power of Pivotal at PayPal's grant announcement

It Takes Public and Private Partnerships to Strengthen Communities

We asked several people: What would you do if the CEO of Paypal, one of the world’s most valuable brands, awarded you a check for $125,000?

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