The trajectory of a child’s life is often determined at a rather young age. With the help of community leaders, like Jamaal Eubanks and Donta Brown, many Black students are envisioning their futures in a new light.
Eubanks and Brown founded Pivotal Transition, a mentorship organization serving youth aged 8 to 19, in attempt to uplift local Black kids and their families.
“The ages that the kids are at are so pivotal,” Eubanks told Madison365. “We know how important these transitions are.”
Eubanks is a Huntingdon College graduate and currently pursuing his second master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Edgewood College.
As a Southside Madison native, Eubanks has had a passion for mentorship for a very long time.
“I know now looking back, reflecting on life, without mentors I don’t know what could have happened to me,” he said.
After returning to Madison after college, Eubanks felt that the Black community in Madison was in need of positive attention and he felt it was his duty to pay it forward.
“Nobody had to do it for me but they did, so I want to do the same,” he explained. As a product of mentorship, Eubanks founded Pivotal Transitions as a way to help students find the right path through mentors like himself. Their motto, “Looking Beyond Tomorrow” is the mantra that fuels their work. They’re programming is focused on helping the Black youth of Madison spend time focusing on their futures.
Pivotal Transition offers student aid scholarships, college tours, field trips and much more. The organization is currently planning a trip to the Milwaukee Children’s Museum to introduce students to new careers.
Pivotal Transition’s most notable event is their annual Back-to-School Event, where families can receive schools supplies, free food and even a pair of shoes. This year the event will be on August 27 at Hawthorne Elementary School.
The organization has continued to grow over the past three years, and they are looking forward to helping more students. Their programming intends to teach leadership skills, self-advocacy skills and literacy. Recently, Pivotal Transition started a 4th-grade girls basketball team for local youth. The nonprofit is looking include more basketball teams and possibly a track component in the future. They always welcome to new mentors to volunteer their time to help guide students through such a pivotal time of their lives.
This piece was produced by a student reporter in the Madison365 Academy. To learn more and support our educational programs, visit madison365.org/academy.