Braven launched in Chicago, our Founder Aimée’s hometown, in 2018 and is working with partners across the city to ensure that all local talent thrives.
In the last 10 years, through concerted efforts across education institutions, nonprofits and the philanthropic community, the percentage of Chicago Public School 9th graders completing 4-year college degrees rose from a bleak 8% to 18%. While this is encouraging progress, the reality for far too many local students is that college still isn’t translating into completion and success beyond graduation.
Braven is proud to be joining city-wide efforts to ensure all Chicago students maximize their talent.
We are embarking on a founding partnership with National Louis University’s Harrison Professional Pathways Program and will become a systemic career-acceleration approach for all sophomores. National Louis University’s forward thinking leadership and commitment to better preparing underrepresented students for careers make it an ideal founding partner. Students earn their Bachelor’s for $40,000 and choose one of six career pathways. The student body is 95% people of color and 85% Pell Grant eligible.
The talent and engagement of local companies fuels the Braven experience. Over the next three years, local employer partners will engage in hundreds of professional development opportunities through Braven as well as have access to more than 1000 career-ready individuals.
In Chicago, with a diverse economy, our employer partners reflect a balance of for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that span multiple sectors and sizes.
Our Fellows, volunteers, employer partners and university partner work together to make Chicago an even playing field for all.
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.
Generous investments from our supporters fuel our model and complement the financial support we receive from our university and employer partners
Jonathan oversees Braven’s launch in Chicago and program implementation at National Louis University. Jonathan 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.
Marthe oversees all student recruitment and the overall student experience of Braven at National Louis University. She runs operations and logistics for Learning Labs and Braven events, as well as overseeing the Post-Accelerator experience (student club and e-board).
Associate Vice President of Enrollment and Student Advancement and Executive Director of Career Advancement, UChicago
Meredith Daw first joined University of Chicago Career Advancement in 2003 and has led the office since 2006. As Associate Vice President of Enrollment and Student Advancement and Executive Director of Career Advancement, Meredith directly manages UChicago’s undergraduate career services and is a key member of the undergraduate admissions and financial aid leadership team. During her tenure, UChicago has increased paid internships tenfold, achieved a 93% placement rate for the graduating class, and implemented a first-of-its-kind early engagement model designed to help students start preparing for their career from the moment they arrive on campus. Meredith holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Robin Lavin is the co-founder and President of The Osa Foundation, a family foundation focused on improving opportunities for Chicago’s youth through education and career preparation.
Robin takes an active role in the philanthropic community, serving as a board member and advisor to numerous non-profit organizations, as well as playing a leadership role in funder collaboratives. Robin serves on the board of directors of One Million Degrees, Spark (Chicago), and Braven (Chicago). She is also a member of the Leadership Council of The Chicago Public Education Fund, the Advisory Council for Embarc, and the Civic and Business Advisory Council for Healthy Schools Campaign. Additionally, she is the co-chair of the Progressive Pathways Fund of the Chicago Workforce Funders Alliance.
Prior to founding The Osa Foundation, Robin’s professional experience was in the financial services industry in the U.S. and London. She began her career at the New York City based money management firm, Jennison Associates, then later in cash management for both Maryland National Bank and Bank of America.Robin then joined Dun and Bradstreet in NYC and London, where she was responsible for managing internal treasury activities and later directing the marketing of international credit services for D&B, Europe.
Robin has a Bachelors of Arts in Economics from American University. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Jack, and enjoys spending time with her three adult children.
Partner, Deloitte Tax LLP
Ron is a partner with Deloitte Tax LLP and has over 34 years of experience in all aspects of U.S. taxation.
He currently leads a restructuring organization within Deloitte Global, supporting Deloitte member firms around the world. For the last decade, Ronhas held leadership positions in the U.S. Tax practice helping drive national operational strategy and client and business growth. Ron has also served as a member of the Deloitte U.S. Firm Board of Directors and on the Risk and Regulatory Committee and the Strategic Investment Committee.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his graduate degree in Taxation from DePaul University in Chicago. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Illinois CPA Society.
Ron currently serves on the Chicago Advisory Board for Braven. For his entire career, Ron has been active within the community, with a focus on education and youth organizations.Although he has served on many non-profit boards, he currently serves on the boards of Working in the Schools and Beber camp.He has also been awarded the Outstanding Leadership in Advancing Diversity Award from the Illinois CPA Society, the Alter and Stone Volunteer Award from WITS, and the Deloitte Community Impact Award.
Executive Director, OneGoal
Sarah is the Executive Director of OneGoal – Chicago, an innovative, three-year college persistence program that identifies, trains and supports our nation’s most effective teachers to lead under performing high school students to reach their full potential and graduate from college. Under her leadership, OneGoal – Chicago is partnering with over 80 non-selective high schools to serve 6,500 Fellows in 2017-2018.
Sarah is chiefly responsible for driving programmatic success of OneGoal – Chicago. She manages strategic relationships with key stakeholders, leads the development of a long-term vision for OneGoal Chicago, manages the regional Board of Directors and the Chicago staff team. Sarah is charged with raising $6 million to expand our model locally, and ensuring program outcomes are met. Sarah plays a key role in the development and expansion of the national organization as a member of the Executive Leadership Team and works closely with the organization’s national team to share best practices, further the mission of this entrepreneurial, data-driven organization, and ultimately help grow a movement to ensure that every student in our country has a legitimate opportunity to graduate from college.
Prior to joining OneGoal in 2013, Sarah served for over two years as a consultant at Bain and Company, where she worked with clients in private equity, healthcare, financial services and technology. Before joining Bain and Company, she led Ashoka’s Global Development team and served as the Director of the Entrepreneur-to-Entrepreneur Program in Latin America, launching a program to engage business leaders with social entrepreneurs. Sarah also worked with DAI, an international development consulting firm, where she managed multi-year economic development projects across Latin America.
Sarah began her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama, where she led the effort to establish the area’s first rural information technology center and helped run a national women’s education initiative. She holds a BA in economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she was an F.C. Austin Scholar. She is an associate of the Prison Creative Arts Project based in Ann Arbor, a member of the Chicago Ideas Week Co-op and a partner with Social Venture Partners, Chicago. Sarah also serves as a member of the board of directors of Braven and of the Erie Elementary Charter School, is an Alumna of Leadership Greater Chicago, and is a current member of the Kellogg Alumni Council.
President, Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education
As President of the Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education (The CAFÉ), Liz is deeply engaged in the nonprofit community and passionate about youth development and education.
She began working with nonprofits in 1993 as founding Executive Director of City Year Chicago, a national service organization that was the template for the AmeriCorps Program. Then in 1995, Liz served as Executive Director of a Montessori school in Denver, where she led a $5 million expansion. In 1998, she became active with boards in the San Diego area, which further fueled her interest in philanthropy and education.
Prior to her work with nonprofits, Liz had a ten-year career with Ameritech Corporation, culminating in her role as special assistant to the CEO of Ameritech Illinois and director of a three-state region for Network Field Operations.
Liz serves as a Trustee for the University of Chicago, is Chairman of the University of Chicago Charter School Board, and serves on the Steering Committee of the University of Chicago Women’s Board. She is a director for the Museum of Science and Industry and serves as Vice Chair of the Partnership for College Completion. She is an alumnus of the Non-Profit Leadership Program of Denver and of the Leadership Greater Chicago Program where she currently also serves as a Director. Liz loves spending time with her family and friends, and cherishes her title of ‘Queen of Useless Facts’.
This November, Braven Founder & CEO, Aimée Eubanks Davis, was featured as #13 on Essence Magazine’s 50 Black Women Founders to Watch list.
Last year, we doubled in size becoming a diverse community of 540 Fellows, and are on pace to double again this school year. Braven Fellows continue to outpace the national average for quality job attainment in less than half the time. And Fellows still in school are persisting and securing internships at inspiring rates. As a community, we have a lot to be proud of, and also so much work ahead.
In his new book, You Can Do Anything: the Surprising Power of a ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Education, New York Times bestselling author George Anders tells the story of Braven Rutgers-Newark Fellow Dyllan and Leadership Coach Josmar to illustrate the transformational nature of built-in career support for first-generation college students.
This is a foundational course, designed to begin preparing students for the increasingly competitive, globalized job marketplace. It is aimed at students in their sophomore year who have a hunger to attain a strong post-grad opportunity. 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 and make positive impact through their careers upon graduation.
This course will require your commitment. Nothing good comes easy, but this course will be equally rewarding as it is challenging. What you get from this course will depend on what you give, and you need to want to give to this course to get the most out of it.
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:
Wednesdays from 4:30pm – 6:30pm
Dr. Natasha Kohl, Manager of Career Development
The course takes place on the NLU campus (122 S. Michigan). The final room location will be on your schedule and sent via email before the course begins in January.
We are looking for professionals from all fields who are willing to share their career experience, personal stories, and unique talents with motivated Fellows.