The Second Act Foundation cultivates the second careers of women over thirty through direct financial aid and access to communal resources as they shift to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math related fields.

Resources to make a change toward STEAM and storytelling.

Younger women are bombarded with life-altering decisions from age 18-24 all at once that will impact their financial stability for many years. Although many are waiting much longer to get married or have children, or are approaching post-secondary education differently, there is still societal pressure to lay a groundwork that will impact the rest of your life during this period of time.

It’s no surprise that the decisions you made at 21 may not serve you well at 41. 

After time in the workforce, your needs and wants become clearer. You get exposed to jobs you didn’t know about. You realize you don’t want kids, or you want more kids. You decide to narrow or broaden your focus. You find that you’re really good at something new. Life experiences with people and places are instructive, and the best thing we can do is apply those lessons to better ourselves.

The Second Act Foundation gives you the funds to pursue education, use as capital, build connections, get established or certified, or another actionable thing that will help you enter the second act of your work life successfully.

Why money?

Women have plenty of confidence. What they don’t always have is money. 

  • Financial independence keeps women safe. Many survivors of domestic violence return to an abusive relationship because they lack resources of their own or have large amounts of debt which often belongs to their partner. Financial abuse is a common tactic of control. It’s reported that over 50% of homeless women are domestic violence survivors.
  • The gender pay gap persists, with American women making 82 cents on average for every dollar a man earns. Women are more likely to leave a job due to pay and career development than anything else.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has led to historic attrition in the workforce as women are unable to balance the additional load of domestic labor (compounded with the requirement to always be “on”) which has fallen squarely on them.

Why age thirty?

There are lots of resources for younger women, and a growing number for women over 50. But a large number of women try to change careers (or exit the workforce if they can’t) around age thirty due to pay or a lack of opportunity for growth and development. It is assumed that women leave jobs at this point due to child-rearing, but those individuals are in the minority. We can help to fill this assumption gap by supplying the resources to create your own opportunities.


Board of Directors

Kylee Peña, president | Technology Program Management Leadership

Whitney McElveen, secretary | Entertainment Industry Project Management

Camille Nussbaum, treasurer | Project Management Leadership & Small Business Owner

Sarah Hoback | Aquatic Animal Care & Theater Performing Arts

Kira Prince | Themed Entertainment Design

Founder: Kylee Peña

I founded The Second Act Foundation in 2021 after witnessing the evolution of my own career and those of the women around me. Firsthand experience has shown me that financial independence is the key to health and happiness.

My day job at a Hollywood studio is focused on facilitating the development of innovations and thought leadership across motion imaging and sound. I’ve seen how the intersection of art and STEM can change hearts and minds which led me to including art and storytelling in this organization’s mission.

In addition to my day job, I’m active with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and serve in leadership with the Junior League of Los Angeles. I also co-led and grew a post production industry non-profit for several years.

I am working toward a Masters in Integrated Business, Design, and Technology at USC and currently have degrees in video production and applied computer science from Indiana University and Purdue University. I have a certificate in project management from Cornell University, and I’m a Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt. I was also named a StudioDaily Top Technologist and Exceptional Woman in Post.


Although the mission and corporate purpose of The Second Act Foundation refers to women, the organization recognizes all women, cisgender or transgender, female-identifying, and non-binary/non gender-conforming people equally because they are all impacted by these issues in various but significant ways.

The Second Act Foundation is a registered 501(c3) charitable organization. Our EIN is 87-1348884.