When Brooklyn Stein adopted her rescue dog, Easton, she was going through a difficult time in her life. She was struggling with some health issues, her schoolwork and anxiety. But Easton, a hyper-active black labrador mix, changed everything.
Easton was taken to an overcrowded shelter in the aftermath of the 2018 Camp fire, and later moved to the Humane Society of Sonoma County. That was where Brooklyn saw him for the first time and took him home.
And while Easton offered support and comfort for Brooklyn, the pair struggled at her traditional high school. The school attempted to accommodate them, but Brooklyn had to transfer out of a few classes and sometimes struggled to focus amongst all her peers.
“I didn’t do well in school and I didn’t get the help I needed to succeed,” Brooklyn said.
When Brooklyn heard about Pivot, she begged her family to let her enroll. Two years later, Brooklyn is not only excelling in her schoolwork, but she may even graduate early.
Because of Pivot’s individualized support from her Educational Coordinator, Brooklyn is able to get the help she needs in her schoolwork without feeling intimidated.
“It’s a very nice environment,” Brooklyn said. “Everyone’s respectful and the teachers are nice.”
At a traditional school, she did not always feel comfortable asking for accommodations she needed because of her disability. But at Pivot, she knows she will not be judged.
She also struggles with social anxiety and sometimes fears going into crowded places. At Pivot, she enjoys the option of working from home.
“We can be independent and can get help if we want,” Brooklyn said. “I just really like the flexibility and the communication.”
Attending Pivot also allows her to follow her passions. She is currently working with a professional dog trainer to teach Easton how to be a proper service animal. She also assists training other dogs and their owners. These classes are in the middle of the day, so being at Pivot allows her to attend those, while still accomplishing her educational goals.
Brooklyn also started a TikTok channel where she shares her experiences with Easton and experiments with making gourmet dog food for her companion. She currently has more than 128,000 followers.
“It was definitely a rocky path in the beginning, but I’m very proud of how far we’ve come,” Brooklyn said about herself and Easton.
After graduating from Pivot, Brooklyn plans on pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinary nutritionist.