Silicon Valley’s Pivotal Receives $250,000 From Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall

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The Investment Will Ensure Foster Youth Continue Receiving the Education & Career Support Required to Succeed During & After the Pandemic

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“While we have overcome many obstacles in the last year, we cannot sit idly by and must continue forging ahead to ensure our youth are equipped with the skills necessary to defy the odds and determine their own path.”

Pivotal, the only nonprofit in Silicon Valley focused exclusively on meeting the educational and career needs of foster youth, has received a $250,000 donation from #StartSmall, Jack Dorsey’s philanthropic initiative.

The donation will support Pivotal’s mission to change the trajectory of the lives of foster youth by helping them reach academic and employment goals. Through one-on-one coaching, college scholarships and academic tutoring, paid summer internships, and professional development workshops, Pivotal scholars are 25 percent more likely to graduate high school and 10x more likely to graduate college than their foster youth peers.

“Pivotal has done a phenomenal job adjusting swiftly to the changing needs of our youth. We have designed creative ways for students to stay engaged and on track academically, while continuing to offer our coaching and career readiness services virtually. I’m incredibly proud of how Pivotal has stepped up for foster youth and it is support from initiatives like #StartSmall that make it possible,” said Rick Williams, Pivotal’s Board Chair.

At the start of the pandemic, Pivotal launched the Emergency Assistance Fund to provide immediate financial support to foster youth who were negatively impacted by COVID-19. In surveying their youth at the onset of the pandemic, the organization learned that more than 60 percent of their participants did not have access to a reliable laptop, and support for basic needs like rent and groceries were in dire need. The organization has provided 135 laptops to students and supported 100 percent of emergency financial requests.

“While we have overcome many obstacles in the last year, we cannot sit idly by and must continue forging ahead to ensure our youth are equipped with the skills necessary to defy the odds and determine their own path,” Williams continued.

#StartSmall is Jack Dorsey’s philanthropic initiative to fund global COVID-19 relief, girls health and education, and efforts towards Universal Basic Income. Dorsey transferred $1 billion (28% of his wealth) to #StartSmall in 2020. A public grant tracker of the donations that have been made thus far and to which organizations can be found here.

About Pivotal
Pivotal is the only nonprofit in Silicon Valley focused exclusively on meeting the educational and career needs of foster youth. The organization has been providing support to high school and college-aged students for more than 30 years. Offering a comprehensive set of services that include one-on-one academic and employment coaching, college scholarships, tutoring, career readiness training, and paid summer internships, Pivotal helps young people from foster care get the support they need to earn a sustainable income and reach self-sufficiency. Because of these levels of support, Pivotal scholars are 25 percent more likely to graduate high school and 10x more likely to graduate college than their foster youth peers. To learn more about Pivotal, visit https://www.pivotalnow.org/ and follow on Facebook @PivotalNow or Twitter @ThisIsPivotal.

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Liza Vilnits
Pivotal
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