of Braven 2019 graduates at SJSU secured a strong first job or entered graduate school within 12 months
In 2014, Braven launched its founding site in the Bay Area with partners across the region to ensure that all local talent thrives.
Silicon Valley is is the world’s number one startup ecosystem. Job growth in the Bay is predicted to be 69% higher than job growth across the state, yet local talent is often not filling these open roles.
The tech sector continues to be one of the biggest job markets in the region, but while 26.5% of Silicon Valley identifies as Latinx, only 6% of employees at the top 75% tech firms identify as such.
Braven is proud to be joining partners across the Bay Area who are working to build a strong, local, diverse workforce to power the local economy.
With shared desire to innovate for student success, San José State University (SJSU) became Braven’s founding university partner in 2014. Together Braven and SJSU have successfully empowered 600+ SJSU students toward graduation and career success, and in 2017 we signed a 5-year partnership agreement to ensure the work continues. We plan to serve 250 new Fellows during the 2017-2018 school year.
“Many of our students have spent their time here trying to hide their story because they see it as a liability. After Braven, they realize that their stories — instead of being a detriment — can be an asset. They realize they belong.” – Elaine Collins, Associate Dean, College of Science
The Bay Area is home to the second highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, many of which are looking for ways to impact their community, build their employees’ leadership skills, and create more diverse and inclusive workplaces.
Braven offers these local companies opportunities to do all three while also gaining access to rising talent. To date, partnerships in various capacities with LinkedIn, Teach For America, Google, Facebook, Schwab, Yahoo!, and Salesforce have empowered talent of all levels towards strong careers and lives of impact. To learn more about our various partnership opportunities click here.
Our Fellows, volunteers, employer partners and university partners work together to make this startup hub a region of opportunity for all. In 2019, 88% of our Fellows identified as people of color and 61% as first-generation college students.
of Braven 2019 graduates at SJSU secured a strong first job or entered graduate school within 12 months
of SJSU Braven Fellows completed at least one internship during college compared with 49% of peers nationally
of Braven Fellows are persisting in or have graduated from college
Our employer partners encourage their employees to participate in Braven’s professional development and engagement opportunities, sponsor events and learning experiences, provide access to externship, internship and full-time opportunities, and offer critical financial support.
LinkedIn has hosted networking events, recruited hundreds of volunteers, sponsored our Summit, donated product, and opened up their API, enabling us to track our Fellows’ job success over time. Braven is a proud member of LinkedIn’s Network Gap Coalition.
Salesforce is an anchor partner committed to the idea that the next generation of leaders needs to emerge from everywhere. The company was a seed funder of Braven NYC. They have also hosted student events in NYC, Chicago, and the Bay Area and sponsored the Career Booster nationally.
We are incredibly thankful for the generosity of our Bay Area supporters, who sustain and grow the Braven Accelerator in our region. For a complete list of Braven supporters, please go to our national supporters page.
Since 2014, Teach For America-Bay Area has exclusively hired it’s summer interns from Braven. TFA has also provided Leadership Coaches and sponsored several events. Our first Braven Fellow joined the teaching corps in summer 2017.
Andrea ensures the success and sustainability of the Bay Area region including program outcomes, fundraising, employer partnerships, and expansion efforts.
Martha works closely with our Bay Area Executive Director, Bay Area Site Director, and Braven External Affairs team to manage projects in support of multiple functional areas including partnership building, development, marketing, and team operations.
Founding CEO, KIPP Bay Area Schools
Beth Sutkus Thompson has been the founding CEO of KIPP Bay Area Schools for over a decade, where she is responsible for the organization’s performance, growth and sustainability. KIPP Bay Area Schools currently serves nearly 6,000 students in 15 schools across 6 cities on a path to doubling in size in the coming years; and serves nearly 3,000 alumni on their journey to choice-filled lives. Previously, Beth was the West Coast Trailblazer at the KIPP Foundation, where she created and implemented a strategic growth plan for KIPP schools, including securing charters, start-up funding, facilities, and community support. Prior to her work at KIPP, Beth was on the founding team of NewSchools Venture Fund, a national nonprofit venture philanthropy working to reimagine public education. Beth holds a B.A. in political science, an M.A. in Education, and an MBA with a certificate in nonprofit management, all from Stanford University. She is a graduate of The Broad Academy and the Aspen-Pahara Fellowship. Beth serves on the Board of Cambiar Education, Kids Love Writing, and the Advisory Board of The Broad Center. She resides in Oakland with her husband and two young children.
Executive Director, Westly Foundation
Jessica García-Kohl is the Executive Director of the Westly Foundation. For two decades she has dedicated her career to nonprofit, government and philanthropic sectors, serving to strengthen communities and create equitable opportunities for children, youth, and families. Previously, Jessica has held executive roles in non-profit education and affordable housing organizations, and has served as a policy advisor for the cities of San José and San Francisco. Jessica holds masters’ degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in Public Policy and Public Health, and a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University.
Deloitte & Touche
Muna Sheikh is a leader in the Deloitte & Touche Risk & Financial Advisory practice. She brings more than 27 years of professional experience in risk management and internal controls consulting. Muna has experience performing enterprise risk assessments, assisting clients to align strategy and enhance risk response, and partnering with senior corporate management teams to address significant issues. She has been a member of Deloitte’s San Francisco Volunteer Council for many years, participates regularly in Deloitte’s Impact Day of volunteerism and is passionate about education and preparing students for a successful future.
Executive Advisor, General Counsel
Van has more than 30 years of experience in the technology industry. Van was VP, Deputy General Counsel, at Cisco for 18 years. She’s credited for playing a critical role in building a world-class legal department from the ground up and supported the company growth from less than $2B to $50B when she retired from Cisco. Her current activities include working with entrepreneurs and startups. She also mentors people of all ages from high school students to corporate executives. She serves on the board of several non-profits focusing on workforce development and education. Van is the recipient of multiple awards, including Silicon Valley Women of Influence, Silicon Valley Pro Bono’s Lady Justice Innovator, Community Champion, Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Women of Achievement, and Asian American for Community Involvement’s Business Trailblazer. She is an avid reader and enjoys reading anything from history, science, psychology, biography and literary fiction. Van loves to hike, garden, cook, write, plays the piano, and walk her dog twice a day. Van is always happy to drop whatever she’s doing to have coffee with a friend.
Sunita is a leader in Risk Assurance practice of PwC with extensive experience in driving advanced analytics solutions and digital transformations for her clients. She has a couple of decades of consulting experience advising C-suites and boards in multiple domains including product, strategy and regulations. She specializes in creating and taking to market AI/ML & data science-driven products and solutions.
Sunita is a member of the diversity, equity and inclusion council of PwC and Hillbrook school and is passionate about mentoring and coaching students and professionals in their career journey. She has also led pro bono projects at several not-for-profit organizations
Salesforce.org has announced a new data architecture to support lifelong learning, new capabilities for its Education Cloud, and more.
Attending a career fair can be exciting and extremely nerve-racking at the same time. Read about Jimmy Vo’s undercover experience at his campus career fair and check out his tips for mastering your next career fair.
Martin Tran’s values and strengths are paving the way for his future. He’s learned valuable lessons from his family about leadership, networking, and team building. Read about Martin’s story and his passion for helping students find beneficial programs and resources at the library.
75 E Santa Clara St
San José, CA 95113
This course prepares students for the increasingly competitive, globalized job marketplace. Through online and peer learning, interactive experiences, and reflection, students will build meaningful networks, discover their innate leadership, and cultivate the “hard” and “soft” skills and habits of mind needed to thrive in twenty-first-century workplaces. This course will require your commitment. Nothing good comes easy, but this course will be equally rewarding as it is challenging.
The Braven Accelerator is a 3 unit elective credit course that meets Wednesday or Thursday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Students must add UNVS 101 to their MySJSU.
In addition to the weekly class, the following activities are a part of the Accelerator:
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
In light of COVID-19, Braven is prepared to conduct the fall 2020 semester course completely virtual. Should the university return to in-person instruction, students will have an opportunity to preference their location after the first week of classes:
The Braven Accelerator empowers promising young people on their path to college graduation, meaningful careers, and lives of impact. From the Accelerator will come a generation of leaders as diverse as our future demands.
We are looking for professionals from all fields who are willing to share their career experience, personal stories, and unique talents with our diverse and driven Fellows.
All volunteer opportunities will be virtual while social distancing orders are in effect. To receive alerts about upcoming volunteer opportunities:
Please contact email@example.com with questions.