A new talent strategy for the bay

In 2014, Braven launched its founding site in the Bay Area with partners across the region to ensure that all local talent thrives.

Braven – Bay Area Jobs Report (2019)

An Engine of Economic Opportunity

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.

Founding University Partnership

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

Employers fueling a new generation of local leaders

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.

The Bay Area Braven Community

Our Fellows, volunteers, employer partners and university partners work together to make this startup hub a region of opportunity for all. In 2016-2017, 92% of our Fellows identified as people of color and 70% as first generation college students.


of Braven 2016 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

Bay Area Employer Partners

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.

Anchor Partners:

Salesforce is an anchor partner committed to the idea that the next generation of leaders needs to emerge from everywhere. The company sponsors student events in San Jose and Chicago.



Keystone Partners:

Charles Schwab employees have volunteered with Braven, collaborated on an innovative pilot, and provided pro-bono consulting.

Charles Schwab

LinkedIn opened up their API to Braven enabling us to track our Fellows’ job success over time. They also sponsored our Bay Area Design-Thinking Hackathon and provide Leadership Coaches.



Innovation Partners:

Binc sponsored our Bay Area

Mock Interview Night.


Credit Karma sponsored our SJSU Capstone Challenge. It included engagement of 20+ employees and a Challenge Kickoff event with a keynote from CEO, Kenneth Lin.

Credit Karma


Impact Partners:

Ripcord sponsored several SJSU Fellow graduates at the 2018 Live Your Legacy event.


Bay Area Supporters

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.


$250,000 – $999,999


$150,000 – $249,999


$100,000 – $149,000

Arthur Rock


$50,000 – $99,999

$20,000 – $49,999

Charles Schwab employees have volunteered with Braven, collaborated on an innovative pilot, and provided pro-bono consulting.

Charles Schwab

LinkedIn opened up their API to Braven enabling us to track our Fellows’ job success over time. They also sponsored our Bay Area Design-Thinking Hackathon and provide Leadership Coaches.


$5,000 – $19,999

James Slavet

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.

Teach For America




Brian Federico

Gale Mondry

Jen Holleran

Ripcord sponsored several SJSU Fellow graduates at the 2018 Live Your Legacy event.


Shannon Birk Jibaja

Sue Kalman


Our Bay Team

Andrea Schwartz Boone

Andrea Schwartz Boone

Andrea ensures the success and sustainability of the Bay Area region including program outcomes, fundraising, employer partnerships, and expansion efforts. She is also responsible for people and operations at Braven, which includes hiring/onboarding, strategic planning and operations, culture, and performance management.


Deborah Costa-Stone

Deborah Costa-Stone

Deborah oversees Braven program implementation at San Jose State University. Deborah ensures the successful execution of the Accelerator course, recruits and trains volunteers, and builds and supports partnerships with the university, employer partners, and other stakeholders.


Diana Hernandez

Diana Hernandez

Martha Mendoza

Martha Mendoza

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.



Bay Board of Directors

Braven-Bay Area is working to launch a founding local board – more coming soon!

Bay Area Stories

“Undercover” at the Campus Career Fair

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.

Read the Full Story

My values and strengths are paving the way for my future

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.

Read the Full Story

Braven recognized as an Inaugural McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund recipient

The McNulty Foundation announced the inaugural recipients of the McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund, a new fund at the Aspen Institute to support innovative social ventures at vital inflection points. A total of $110,000 will be granted to six organizations around the world that have proven results and show great potential for further impact. Each is led by an Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) Fellow using their entrepreneurial spirit and expertise to address critical global problems.

Read More

Contact the Bay Team

c/o WeWork
75 E Santa Clara St
San José, CA 95113


Braven Accelerator: Spring 2019

San José State University


  • Sophomore, juniors, and first-year transfer students are preferred
  • In good academic standing and able to register for ‘Sci 75’ (3 unit lower division elective) or ‘Sci 125’ (3 unit upper division elective)
  • Able to meet once a week on Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 6pm-8pm
  • Able to commit an average of 4-5 hours a week to this course
  • Able to attend our signature ‘Storytelling as Leadership’ event on Saturday, September 8th from 10am-4pm

Course Description

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.

Course Section

The Braven Accelerator is a 3 unit elective credit course that meets Tuesday or Wednesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at SJSU or off-campus at employer partner offices. There are two sections available during registration and students must add either SCI 75 or SCI 125 to their MySJSU.

  • SCI 75 Leadership and Career Accelerator
  • SCI 125 Leadership and Career Accelerator

Additional Events

In addition to the weekly class, the following activities are a part of the Accelerator:

Spring 2019:

  • Saturday (Exact Date TBD): Storytelling As Leadership Workshop
  • May 15, 2019: Live Your Legacy Celebration, 5:15- 8:00 pm

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Exercise habits to persist through and thrive beyond college
  • Know and demonstrate the skills and mindsets employers hire for
  • Navigate the workplace
  • Build a record of achievement and apply skills to land a career-accelerating internship or research opportunity
  • Expand personal and professional networks
  • Lead with their assets and values


Fellows will have an opportunity to preference their location after the first week of classes:

  • SJSU’s campus, or
  • One of our employer partner sites: In the past, the Accelerator has been hosted at companies like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Enroll Now

Volunteer in the Bay Area

Become a Professional Mentor: Pay it forward! Apply to become a Professional Mentor by March 1st.
The PM Program is part of the Post-Accelerator experience for Braven Fellows. As a PM, you play a critical role in the success of our Fellows after graduation. You will be matched with a Braven Fellow in their junior or senior year who is searching for a career accelerating internship or full-time job in your career field. For 15 weeks, you will help your Fellow navigate the job/internship application process and help develop their professional skills through real-world application in weekly, one-hour meetings. Braven provides helpful tools and frameworks to guide you and help ensure you are making progress. You will work with your mentee to ensure their professional portfolio (resume, LinkedIn, cover letter, etc…) is polished and that they practice critical professional skills, such as interviewing and communicating to prepare them for the workforce.
The commitment is about 2 hours per week for 15 weeks (March-June) including meeting preparation and follow-up. Meetings with your mentee can be virtual or in person at a mutually convenient time.


  • Mentor application deadline: Friday, March 1st
  • Program Kickoff event: Saturday, March 9th , 12pm-3pm (Location TBD, near SJSU campus)
  • Program launch week: Monday, March 11th – First official meeting between Mentor and Fellow happens this week
  • End of Program: Friday, June 28th, 2019
  • End of Commitment Survey due date: Friday, July 5th

Contact Martha@bebraven.org with questions or for more information.

Become a Mock Interviewer: Braven Mock Interview Night is March 19 and 20, 2019:
Mock Interviews are a critical part of the Braven Accelerator course. On March 19 and 20, volunteers will conduct four to five mock interviews in-person at San Jose State University (SJSU) or over the phone between 5:30-8pm . Braven will provide sample questions and guidance on how to offer feedback to interviewees.
Sign up through Calendly below by March 5. Email Shannon@bebraven.org with questions or to express interest.

Leadership Coaches: If you are interested in becoming a leadership coach, please visit our leadership coach page and apply here.

Required dates for Spring Leadership Coaches:
  • Tuesday/Wednesday, January 29/30 through May 15: Tuesday or Wednesday evenings for the length of the semester.
  • Sunday, January 13: Leadership Coach Training & Onboarding
  • Saturday, February 16: Storytelling As Leadership Workshop

Braven Network: Sign up to join the Braven Network, and you will be the first to know about upcoming one-time and recurring volunteer opportunities by email. When you register, you will also have the chance to indicate if you are interested in connecting with some of our Braven Fellows who are eager to learn more about your industry and career path.