We’re proving what’s possible when you empower the next generation of leaders with the skills, networks, experiences, and confidence necessary to launch a strong career.
At Braven, we’re working to democratize access to the American promise and to economic freedom, empowering a generation of leaders who mirror the demographics of our country. This is more important than ever as Fellows continue to feel the impact of an uncertain labor market.
This report highlights Braven’s impact through the stories of our inspiring Fellows.
Only 30% of 1.3 million low-income or first generation college students who enroll in college each year will graduate and secure a strong first job or enter graduate school.1
That’s nearly 1 million students every single year who are not on the path to greater economic mobility.
Braven empowers promising underrepresented college students with the skills, confidence, experiences, and networks necessary to transition from college to strong economic opportunities, which lead to meaningful careers and lives of impact.
The next generation of leaders
will emerge from everywhere.
Braven empowers promising underrepresented college students on their paths to quality economic opportunities through a semester-long, cohort-based course and a lighter-touch post-course experience that lasts through college graduation.
In our classic higher education model, students take the course for college credit either in-person or virtually. Students who come through our innovation programming via college success organizations receive a financial stipend in lieu of credit.
of adults believe it is unlikely that today’s youth will have a better standard of living than their parents
of adults think it is hard for Black Americans and immigrants to improve their standard of living
jobs added in December 2022, despite other indicators of recession5
Despite high-profile layoffs by technology companies, the U.S. labor market still looks strong.
fewer young workers (ages 20-24) in the workforce compared to pre-pandemic levels
While some young people are enrolling in higher education at higher rates, others may not be in the workforce due to caretaking duties, mental health issues, and other reasons.8
chance of a recession
by late 2023 or early 20244
of businesses plan to
implement a hiring freeze
in an economic downturn6
Employers may rely less on layoffs during a recession after experiencing labor shortages in 2021 and 2022.7
The poverty rate is 3.5x lower for bachelor’s degree holders versus those with only a high school diploma.10
In 2022, 603 Braven Fellows graduated from college.11 This new class is outpacing their peers nationally in strong economic opportunity attainment by 14 percentage points (61% vs 47%) within six months of graduation.12
In 2022, 603 Braven Fellows graduated from college. These are the types of opportunities they landed. 81% of graduates secured quality
or pathway roles, and 86% are employed or enrolled in graduate school.
Quality role: a full-time role that requires a bachelor’s degree and includes some combination of promotion pathways, employee benefits, and a market-competitive starting salary, or enrollment in graduate school
Pathway role: a role that does not require a bachelor’s degree but helps students’ financial sustainability, is aligned with career interests, and will likely lead to more career-accelerating possibilities through skill development
Non-quality role: a role that does not require a bachelor’s degree, offers limited runway to additional career-accelerating opportunities, and is not aligned with students’ career interests
When students are given access to information capital and networks, as well as the opportunity to practice professional skills, the American promise is attainable within semesters.
75% of Braven graduates make more in their first job out of college than either of their parents did at the same age.13
By comparison, by age 30, Americans have a 50-50 shot of outearning their parents.14
A high quality first job helps individuals build long-term wealth and health. Braven defines a strong first job as one that requires a bachelor’s degree and is full-time, as well as includes some combination of promotion pathways, employee benefits, and a market-competitive starting salary.
This is compared to
an overall starting salary for 2021 graduates from 4-year schools of $41,500.16
of recent Braven graduates nationwide are in roles aligned with their long-term career interests15
of recent Braven graduates nationwide have a job with employer provided benefits15
With Braven’s help, Hunter Cordova built the foundation
for his path to the American promise.
For college students, internships serve as critical proof points of experience that open professional doors.
Compared with graduates nationally, Braven 2022 graduates were 6 percentage points more likely to have at least one internship or similar career-accelerating experience during college.
Since the start of the pandemic, bachelor’s degree enrollment at public four-year institutions has declined by 3%.
However, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were among the few to enroll more students this fall.
Given the importance of the bachelor’s degree, it is discouraging to see college persistence has declined for the second starting cohort in a row. The fall 2020 starting cohort’s persistence rate was the lowest of the past ten cohorts.20
Nationally, only about 7 in 10 of Braven Fellows’ peers graduate college on time. Fellows, who typically join us during their sophomore or junior year, are persisting and graduating at encouraging rates.21
Braven Fellows have achieved a 91% six-year on-time graduation rate.22
Lehman College - CUNY
National Louis University
Northern Illinois University
(Launched Fall 2022)
Rutgers University - Newark
San José State University
($250K+ and programmatic support)
Apollo Opportunity Foundation
Cognizant US Foundation
Goldman Sachs One Million
($100K+ and programmatic support)
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
($25K+ and programmatic support)
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Cerberus Capital Management
CIBC Bank USA
CME Group Foundation
Lazard Asset Management
Old National Bank
Stanley Black & Decker
($5K+ & programmatic support)
Blackstone Charitable Foundation
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield
of New Jersey
IPG Health Network
Kirkland & Ellis
McKinsey & Company
(<$5K and/or programmatic support)
Gilbane Building Company
Hall Capital Partners
Johnson & Johnson
Metro Atlanta Chamber
A Better Chicago
Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation
Charles and Lynn Schusterman
Charles Ashby Lewis
& Penny Bender Sebring
Charter School Growth Fund
Cleveland Avenue Foundation
College Futures Foundation
Crown Family Philanthropies
Cynthia A. Niekamp Foundation
David Cohen & Kristin Argo
Duarte Family Foundation
Finnegan Family Foundation
Franklin and Catherine
Grace & Steve Voorhis
Greenbridge Family Foundation
John & Wendy Cozzi
Kelly & Thom Mannard
Leslie Family Foundation
Lisa & Joseph Amato
Marc and Jeanne Malnati
Meghan Mackay & Allen Thorpe
Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
New Profit, Inc.
Paul M. Angell Foundation
Paula Sneed & Lawrence Bass
Prosper Road Foundation
Robert Mize and Isa White
Trimble Family Foundation
Ron & Kathy Sonenthal
Schultz Family Foundation
Sergey Brin Family Foundation
Siegel Family Endowment
Silicon Valley Social Venture
Siragusa Family Foundation
Sobrato Family Foundation
Square One Foundation
Susan & Thomas Dunn
Tammy & Bill Crown
The 1954 Project
The Carson Family Charitable Trust
The Jeffrey H. and Shari
L. Aronson Family Foundation
The John P. and Anne Welsh
The Mayer and Morris Kaplan
The Molly Blank Fund of The Arthur
M. Blank Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation
Tipping Point Community
Part of our innovation programming, BravenX is a 15-week virtual fellowship experience that equips participants with the skills, confidence, networks, and experiences necessary to launch a strong career. This innovation program is fully virtual and identical in length, content, and cohort structure as our university-based model. However, it is made possible through partnerships with college access and success organizations instead of higher education partners through which Braven helps ensure that their alumni build the foundation for a lifelong career path. BravenX Fellows earn a financial stipend upon completion of the program in lieu of academic credit. In some cases, BravenX is added as a scholarship requirement.
To date, we've served 600+ Fellows through BravenX.
In 2022, 201 BravenX Fellows graduated from colleges and universities nationwide.
With Braven’s help, Allan Barajas built the foundation for his path to the American promise.