SILVER2023

Pivotal

Determine Your Own Path

San Jose, CA   |  www.pivotalnow.org

Mission

Pivotal's mission is to help young people in and from foster care realize their educational and career goals by ensuring equitable access to opportunity. Our programming provides them with the academic and career readiness support they need to graduate from high school, get their first job, and pursue post-secondary education. Our comprehensive services include 1:1 academic and employment coaching, tutoring, career readiness training, and placement into paid summer internships that align with their career interests. Pivotal's goal is simple: To help foster youth become self-reliant, positive contributors to their communities when they exit the foster care system.

Ruling year info

1989

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Matt Bell

Main address

75 E. Santa Clara St Suite 1450

San Jose, CA 95113 USA

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Formerly known as

Silicon Valley Children's Fund & TeenForce

EIN

77-0166138

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

Secondary/High School (B25)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Foster youth report the most dismal outcomes of any youth population in America. By the time they reach age 18, 25% are incarcerated, 20% are homeless, and less than 50% graduate from high school. At age 24, when the average Ame inca young person emancipates from the foster care system at age 18, he or she only Only 3% earn a bachelor’s degree (vs. 29% of the general population). Furthermore, most age of the system with little or no work experience, which perpetuates the cycle of poverty: the average 24-year-old foster youth earns only $690 a month (vs. $1,535 earned by non-foster peers). By the time they reach adolescence, most foster youth have little chance at adoption or family reunification, which means they will likely be shuffle

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Pivotal's High School Education and Employment Program

Pivotal's High School Education and Employment Program supports foster youth as early as the 9th grade through high school graduation. The program aims to reverse the following statistics that are true for the average foster youth when they turn 18: 50% are unemployed, 25% are incarcerated, and 20% are homeless. Pivotal matches each foster youth with reliable and highly trained coaches who guide them towards graduation, support them in career exploration and employment opportunities and look ahead to post-secondary options. Since we launched our high school program in 2010, the rolling average graduation rate of our scholars is 75%, compared to the county foster youth rate of 49%.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Foster and adoptive children
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Pivotal's Post-Secondary Education and Employment Program supports college-aged foster youth who are ready to take the next step in their education and pursue a bachelor's degree. 90% of our college scholars are enrolled in local community colleges, while 10% atttend a four-year university starting their freshman year. Our post-secondary coaches are co-located on the campuses of seven community colleges in Silicon Valley, to facilitate meetings and coaching sessions with youth. In addition to helping these students navigate the college system, our coaches help them identify career interests, choose their major, and create a career plan for success that's aligned to each youth's skills, interests, and place in life. Many of our college youth are already parenting and face transportation challenges, and most work at least part-time while enrolled in school. Our program helps youth develop professional skills to become competitive in the Silicon Valley summer internship and job market.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Economically disadvantaged people
Foster and adoptive children
At-risk youth

Each year, Pivotal awards college scholarships to more than 150 college foster youth. Our scholarships give students the extra income they need to stay focused on earning their bachelor's degree rather than on making ends meet. Whether our students are attending community college, trade school, or university, or if their dream school is out-of-state, we commit to supporting their academic dreams.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth
Foster and adoptive children

We prepare our youth to be competitive job candidates in Silicon Valley and beyond by training them in hard and soft skills that will take them far in life. Our coaches work 1:1 with each youth, tailoring professional development skills training to each youth's level of need. We work with corporate partners who offer our youth paid summer internships, informational interviews and job shadowing opportunities, and who are eager to help foster youth by expanding their professional network.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Foster and adoptive children
At-risk youth

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Pivotal hopes to serve up to 750 youth by 2023. Our year-to-year agency goals are as follows:

• Achieve a 75%+ high school graduation and post-secondary matriculation rates
• Provide focused academic and employment coaching to 500+ high school and college participants
• Prepare and place 110+ high school and college foster youth into paid summer internships aligned to their career goals
• Achieve a 80%+ internship completion rate

By achieving these goals, we are rewriting the narrative for what it means to grow up in foster care.

Our approach is rooted in The Developmental Relationships Framework from the Search Institute and based on positive youth development research:

We assess each youth's needs, looking at 'status' in key areas such as credits earned, housing and transportation situation, special education needs, and access to childcare.

Based on their needs, youths are matched to an appropriate coach on our team, who creates a plan of action. Coaches adjust the dosage and duration of our services based on student needs. Youths set goals within 30 days of our initial meeting.

Coaches and youth meet regularly - face to face or via technology - and work through activities designed to ensure academic and employment progress of youth (e.g. reviewing transcripts together, creating a graduation plan, ensuring possession of right to work documents, college application and university transfer support)

Coaches work to build transferable skills for youth (e.g. time management, self-advocacy, financial literacy)

Coaches carry small caseloads and meet with youth out in the community, wherever they feel at ease. No office visits required

We use graduate students as academic coaches, making our high-touch model remarkably cost-effective. Graduate students in social work must complete 480 internship hours of supervised direct service; they earn their service hours working as coaches for us, while we provide the field supervision and training.

Our employment approach is patterned after the staffing industry; we get companies to create jobs specifically for foster youth and then we train and match the right youth to the right job.

We value youth-advised programming, cost-effective social solutions, and cross-sector collaborations.

Since 2010, we steadily increased the high school graduation rate of youth in our program. Our 2017 on-time high school graduation rate is 87%, which is higher than the county’s graduation rate for all students.

Since 2013, our on-site community college programs have increased retention and persistence rates of foster youth in community college from 61% to 93%.

Since 2000, our higher education program has combined scholarship dollars with academic, financial, and life-skills coaching. Our college graduation rate is more than 10x higher than the national average for foster youth.

With additional unrestricted funding, Silicon Valley Children’s Fund would codify our coaching model so that could be replicated across the nation, in counties both large and small, urban and rural. We would create the replication playbook for supporting foster youth via effective collaboration between non-profit organizations, social services departments, and educational institutions.

Financials

Pivotal
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Pivotal

Board of directors
as of 08/15/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Mike Saviage

Retired Director (Adobe)

Term: 2021 -

Lisa S Sonsini

Sobrato Philanthropies

Amy Cappellanti-Wolf

Cohesity

Mike Saviage

Adobe

Paul Silverglate

Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory

Lupe Diaz

Pure Storage

Maribeth Portz

Community Leader

Nadia Patel

PAG

Matt Bell

PIVOTAL

Dontae Lartigue

Razing the Bar

Nkia Richardson

CASA of San Mateo

Pattie Cortese

East Side Union High School District

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes