A new chapter in Newark

With a bold vision, strong leadership, and deep community engagement, Newark is working towards a strong economic future for all residents. Joining Newark in 2015, Braven is proud to be a partner in this community-wide effort.

The Work Ahead

Newark is poised for a renaissance, but only if all local talent thrives. The city’s established companies are growing, mixed-use development is booming and start-ups are being incubated. Yet 30% of Newark’s residents are living below the poverty line and 20% of Black residents are unemployed. Braven has joined forces with Rutgers-University Newark and local employers to help the Newark community meet its ambitious goals around college and career success.

An Innovative University Partnership

Chancellor Nancy Cantor and her team at Rutgers University – Newark have partnered with Braven since Fall 2015, and, to date, Braven has served over 280 Rutgers – Newark students. Braven Fellows receive 2 elective credits for taking the Accelerator course. In the 2016-2017 school year, 91% of Braven Fellows identified as people of color and 69% were first-generation college students.

Employers fueling a new generation of local leaders

With a mix of well-established companies and start-ups, Newark employers are looking for innovative talent solutions to help them hire a new generation of local talent and ensure the strength of their community. With an anchor employer partnership with Prudential and strong support from companies ranging from Enterprise to Audible to College Board, local employers are leveraging Braven’s professional development opportunities for their employees while helping to build their future talent pipeline.

The Newark Braven Community

Our Fellows, volunteers, Employer Partners and University Partner are working together to ensure all college graduates are set-up for success.


Accelerator and Post-Accelerator Fellows


of Rutgers-Newark Braven Fellows are persisting in or have graduated from college


of Braven Fellows still in school have had a career aligned internship within the last year

Newark Area Schools

Rutgers University – Newark

  • Dates:  January 22, 2019 – May 15, 2019
  • Final Enrollment Deadline: Friday, January 4
  • First Week of Class – Spring 2018: Tuesday/Wednesday, January 22/23

Newark 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 Partner

Prudential became Braven’s first anchor employer partner to help build a pipeline of strong talent and provide opportunities for students to be career-ready in Newark, their headquarters for more than 140 years.



Innovation Partners

Enterprise sponsored our Newark Capstone Challenge.



Access Partners

Newark Supporters

Generous investments from our supporters fuel our model and complement the financial support we receive from our university and employer partners.

$250,000 – $999,999


$150,000 – $249,999

Susan & Thomas Dunn


$100,000 – $149,999

Richard Braddock


$50,000 – $99,999


$20,000 – $49,999


$5,000 – $19,999

Edison Foundation

Guggenheim Partners

Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Sarah Peter

Trimble Foundation


Alice Ricks

Benevity Community Impact Fund

Brian Federico

Fuad Ligali

Heidi Eggert

Isabel Siragusa

Shannon Birk Jibaja

Siragusa Family Foundation

Sue Kalman

Thomas Lewis Brown


Newark Team

Alina Yang

Alina Yang

Alina oversees Braven program implementation at Rutgers University-Newark. Alina 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.


Dennis Ng

Dennis Ng

Dennis is responsible for Newark regional operations and event planning. He is the right hand person to the Newark Executive Director, specifically supporting in the creation and maintaining of employer and community partnerships.


Lissete Estrada

Lissete Estrada

Lissete oversees all student recruitment and the overall student experience of Braven at Rutgers University-Newark. She runs operations and logistics for Learning Labs and Braven events, as well as overseeing the Post-Accelerator experience (student club and e-board).


Vince Marigna

Vince Marigna


Newark Stories

Confessions of a Leadership Coach

I’m an LC, I’m 30 years old, I graduated from Rutgers with a degree in English and have the most awesome company where I’m mentored by two brilliant women. But here’s my confession: I gain my most valuable skills from volunteering with Braven.

Read the Full Story

Forbes Under 30 Summit Experience

Claudia Saavedra (Fall ‘17 Fellow) is now a graduate student at Rutgers University-Newark. She recently had the opportunity to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit, so we caught up with her to find out how she was able to snag that awesome opportunity and what her experience was like.

Read the Full Story

Meet Vince Marigna, Executive Director of Braven – Newark

Vince Marigna, newest member of the Braven – Newark team, will help ensure that thousands of students at Rutgers University – Newark gain the skills, confidence, experiences, and networks necessary to successfully transition from college to career. Learn about his story in his interview with Braven!

Read the Full Story

Contact the Newark Team

Braven – Newark
c/o Teach For America
50 Park Place, Suite M200
Newark, NJ 07102
Email: vince@bebraven.org

Braven Accelerator: Spring 2019

Rutgers University – Newark


Sophomore and first-year transfer students are preferred, but the course is open to all undergraduate students in all majors who are:

  • In good academic standing and able to register for a 2-credit elective course during the semester
  • Able to meet once a week on Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 6pm-8pm during the semester
  • 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, February 9 from 9:30am – 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 2-credit elective course that meets Tuesday or Wednesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. The course is housed under the HLLC:

  • HLLC Special Topics II: Braven Accelerator

Additional Events

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

  • Saturday, February 9, 2019, 9:30am – 4pm: Storytelling As Leadership Workshop

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


The course takes place on the RU-N campus. The final room location will be on your schedule and sent via email before the course begins.

Enroll Now

Volunteer in Newark

We are looking for professionals from all fields who are willing to share their career experience, personal stories, and unique talents with motivated Fellows.

Leadership Coaches: If you’re interested in becoming a Leadership Coach, please visit our leadership coach page. Required dates for Spring 2019 Leadership Coaches:

  • Saturday, January 12: Leadership Coach Training & Onboarding
  • Tuesday/Wednesday, January 22/23 – May 14/15 Tuesday or Wednesday evenings for the length of the semester
  • Saturday, February 9: Storytelling As Leadership Workshop

Professional Mentors: If you’re interested in volunteering as a Professional Mentor (PM), where we match you with a recent or soon-to-be college grad from Rutgers University – Newark who is interested in going into your career field, please read and complete our Professional Mentor application.

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.