The Problem

Only 25% of about 1.2 million low-income, first-generation college enrollees will attain a quality first job or go to graduate school. That’s nearly one million college students every single year who are not on a path to maximize their potential.

A Solution Embedded Within Higher Education

Braven empowers promising untapped college students with the professional skills, confidence, networks and experiences necessary to transition from college to strong first jobs, leading to meaningful careers and lives of impact.

By partnering with large public universities who are working to innovate, Braven:

  • Builds cutting-edge career education into the undergraduate experience for low-income and first-generation college students
  • Provides students, who often feel disconnected from campus, with a network of supporters and sense of belonging
  • Becomes a systemic solution within and across universities to fuel a generation of leaders as diverse as our future demands

Braven’s Model

University Partnerships

Universities provide credit, space, staff capacity and resources that fuel Braven. In return Braven supports universities’ persistence and career readiness initiatives.

The Accelerator Course

The Braven experience begins with a hybrid online and in-person career-acceleration course for undergraduate students.

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The Post-Course Experience

After the course, Fellows receive additional opportunities to develop leadership and career-readiness skills, engage in an enduring professional network, and stay on track to securing strong internships and jobs.

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Employer Partnerships

Employers provide access to Leadership Coaches and lighter-touch volunteers, event sponsorship, and resources. In return, Braven provides meaningful professional development experiences and access to future diverse talent.

The Braven experience begins with a hybrid online and in-person career-acceleration course for undergraduate students.

Build Professional Skills:

Throughout the course, Fellows complete weekly online modules and three projects to develop in five professional competencies that employers value most:

    • Operating and managing
    • Problem solving
    • Working in teams
    • Networking and communicating
    • Leadership

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Gain Sense of Belonging & Social Capital:

Professionals from local employers, called Leadership Coaches, facilitate the in-person time and lead cohorts of 5-8 Fellows through weekly Learning Labs, sharing real-world application and feedback.

The coach and cohort model provides students with a community of support and critical connections into the workforce.

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The Post-Course Experience

After the course, Fellows receive additional opportunities to develop leadership and career-readiness skills, engage in an enduring professional network, and stay on track to securing strong internships and jobs.

  • Membership to the on-campus Braven club
  • Access internships and job opportunities from Braven employer partners and staff roles
  • Networking and skill building events
  • Additional career coaching and mentorship

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Our Impact

Braven Fellows are persisting in college and achieving exciting levels of internship and job attainment. Our Fellow community of nearly 750 is seeing exciting success beyond graduation, and before that, on the path to college graduation and career.

Strong job attainment

After 12 months, Braven college graduates outpaced their peers by 23 percentage points in quality economic opportunity attainment.

Fellows who are only 3 months out from graduation are already seeing strong outcomes.

Braven Fellows After 12 Months 72%
Braven Fellows After 3 Months 61%
National Average for All Students After 12 Months 56%
National Average for African-American and Latino Students After 12 Months 49%

 

Internship Attainment

Internships serve as critical proof points of experience and open professional doors. Compared with peers nationally, Braven college graduates were more likely to have at least one internship during college.

Braven College Graduates 79%
All First-Generation Graduating Seniors at Large State Schools 49%

 

College Persistence

College completion is a challenge nationally. Only 6 in 10 young people who start college finish within 6 years. Braven Fellows, who typically join us during sophomore or junior year, are persisting at inspiring rates.

Braven Fellows Who Are Persisting In or Have Graduated From College 98%

 

Social Capital

Social networks provide critical connections and important sources of professional and emotional advice. Too often students from low-income backgrounds don’t have the same access to social capital as their wealthier peers.

An exploratory study from Harvard found that Braven cohorts experienced statistically significant growth in the closeness of both friendship and advice networks.

Graphs showing growth in social connections between Braven Fellows in two groups that were studied.

Soft Skills

Soft skills matter mightily for academic and life success. An exploratory study from Harvard found the Braven Fellows saw statistically significant growth in 5 key soft skills:

Job search self-efficacy

Confidence in one’s ability to have a successful job search and get a job they want

Career self-efficacy

Confidence in one’s career decisions, ability to grow and improve professionally, and ability to perform well at work

Confidence in one’s career decisions, ability to grow and improve professionally, and ability to perform well at work

Grit

Ability to persevere through setbacks to achieve long-term goals

Ability to persevere through setbacks to achieve long-term goals

Sense of Social and Academic Fit

Sense of belonging on campus

Sense of belonging on campus

Growth mindset

One’s perception of whether they have the potential to change factors central to school performance

One’s perception of whether they have the potential to change factors central to school performance

Fellow Satisfaction

Fellows see Braven as a critical component of their professional success.

99%

of Fellows indicate they want to stay involved with Braven moving forward

76%

of Fellows say Braven was one of the most valuable personal or professional development experiences they have ever had.