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1
Introduction
2
our model
3
Quality economic opportunities
4
Internship Attainment
5
College completion
Lehman College CUNY LogoThe City College of New York Logo
Braven

2024
Jobs Report

Together with our higher education and employer partners, 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.

Braven fellow Adil Abreu
SPRING 2020 FELLOW
Edil Abreu
Risk & Financial Advisory
Analyst, Deloitte
Photo: Joshua Christie | Purpose Portraits

A decade of collective impact and a future of opportunity for the next generation of leaders.

What does this report cover?

In 2013, Braven started out as a pilot with 17 students, and by the end of June 2024, we’ll have served close to 10,000 Fellows at eight innovative colleges and universities nationwide and through BravenX.

A decade in, we’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of incredibly talented, diverse undergraduate students who continue to overcome challenges on their way to career and lifetime success. In this report, we highlight their stories as we dive into two questions that assess Braven’s impact:

1

Are our Fellows getting strong jobs that put them on the path to the American promise?

Go to section
2

Are we supporting Fellows on the path to internships and college completion?

Go to section
Braven fellow Marieme Jiddou
Spring 2023 FELLOW
Marieme Jiddou
African Affairs Intern,
Department of State
Photo: Joshua Christie | Purpose Portraits

Why our work matters

~30%

Only about 30% of 1.4 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 more than one million students every single year who aren’t on the path to the American promise.

1.4 million students
400k
1 million

Graduate and secure a strong job or enter grad school

Are not on the path to the american promise

Braven Fellow Enrique Medel
1 Statistics based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics (2021 digest and 2019 NCES 2019-487),National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s Transfer & Progress report (Fall 2022), and Third Way’s“The Pell Divide: How Four-Year Institutions are Failing to Graduate Low- and Moderate-Income Students” (2018)
SPRING 2021 FELLOW
Enrique Medel
Youth Residential Specialist,
Thresholds (non-profit)
Photo: Joe Mazza | Brave Lux Inc.

Mission

Together in collaboration with our higher education and employer partners, 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.

Vision

The next generation of leaders will emerge from everywhere.

“Before becoming a Braven Fellow, I struggled with imposter syndrome. My Braven experience taught me the importance of adopting a growth mindset and striving to learn more about myself and better understand my career goals and values.”

–Nicholas Rios

Braven Fellow Nicholas Rios
FALL 2023 FELLOW
Nicholas Rios
Web Developer, GS-LSAMP
Rutgers University–Newark
Photo: Joshua Christie | Purpose Portraits
The Braven Model

The Braven Model

In collaboration with our partners, Braven empowers promising underrepresented college students on their paths to quality economic opportunities through a semester-long, cohort-based course, which was designed with significant input from our higher education partners and their faculty, and a post-course experience that lasts 6 months post college graduation.

In our core higher education model, students take the course for credit. Students who come through BravenX via college success organizations receive a financial stipend in lieu of credit.

Our NYC partners

Lehman College CUNY LogoThe City College of New York Logo

Celebrating 10 Years

with Innovative Higher Education Partners

It’s official!
Aimée Eubanks Davis started Braven — then called Beyond Z — with four pilot programs, three with K-12 students and one with college students.

  • 4 pilot programs

  • 60 college students

  • 3 college campuses

2013

Our first school partner
The initial college pilot was led by 3 female deans who led the partnership from San Jose State University’s (SJSU’s) end. In the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015, SJSU offered a second pilot on their campus for SJSU students alone, and 38 participated.

  • 38 SJSU students participated in second pilot on campus

2014

First time offering course credit
Braven and SJSU formalized our partnership and launched Braven’s Accelerator as a credit-bearing course for the first time. That same fall, Braven started working on the East Coast and launched at Rutgers University - Newark.

  • 28 Rutgers-Newark college students participated in the Accelerator

2015

Accelerator course at RU-N offered for credit
Braven and Rutgers University Newark (RU-N) formalized our partnership by making Braven’s Accelerator Course credit-bearing.

  • 129 Braven Fellows complete first RU-N credit-bearing course

2017

Joining the Chicago community
Braven secured our first college partnership in Chicago. National Louis University (NLU) began offering the Braven Accelerator for credit in January of 2018.

  • 47 Braven Fellows complete first NLU credit-bearing course

2018

The launch of BravenX
In response to growing demand from college success organizations, we launched the BravenX pilot.

  • 100+ Braven Fellows participated in BravenX

2019

Setting up shop in the Big Apple
Braven launched our fourth site at Lehman College (part of the City University of New York system) in January 2020.

  • 110 Fellows complete first Lehman College course

2020

Chicago State Partnership via BravenX Launches
In Fall 2021, Braven kicked off its partnership with Chicago State University via BravenX, serving 29 Fellows.

2021

Many firsts at two new sites
Braven launched our fifth site in Atlanta at Spelman College, our first HBCU. That same year Braven partnered with Northern Illinois University (NIU) to offer our first intentionally fully virtual course.

  • 827 Fellows complete Spelman course during the first year

  • 159 Fellows complete NIU virtual course

2022

Growing within the CUNY System
City College of New York (CCNY) and Braven build a formal partnership.

  • 275 Fellows complete first City College of New York course

2023

10,000 Fellows served by end of June 2024

Joining the Delaware community
Braven launched its eighth site at Delaware State University (DSU) in January 2024, our second partnership with an HBCU (and first with a public HBCU).

2024
1.

Are our Fellows getting quality economic opportunities that put them on the path to the American promise?

A College Degree

Still the Surest Path to Economic Mobility

Lifelong Financial Benefits for College Graduates

The difference in financial trajectory between college and high school graduates is clear.2 The average income of a college graduate is $73,300 compared to $44,300 of a high school graduate. By their 30s, people who went to college, whether at public or private schools, have earned back what they spent on education, and their cumulative earnings have started to surpass those of high school graduates

College Graduates Earn Almost Twice the Median Income of High School Graduates

Bachelor's degree median income $73,300. High school diploma median income $44,300

College Graduates’ Cumulative Earnings Surpass High School Graduates

Break even age 30
4.4%

Unemployment rate for recent college graduates as of September 2023

6.5%

Unemployment rate for young workers without a bachelor’s degree as of September 2023

Better Employment Outcomes for Recent College Graduates

Recent college graduates have lower unemployment rates than their peers without a degree. This has been true for every month since 1990, including over six recessions.4 This significant and persistent difference highlights the protective effect of a college degree on a young person’s ability to secure employment in competitive job markets.

College Graduates’ Cumulative Earnings Surpass High School Graduates5

More Jobs Will Require at Least a Bachelor’s Degree by 20316

Bachelor’s degrees and the foundational skills they teach are predicted to have even greater value in the future. Between 2021 and 2031, there will be 7.2 million annual job openings requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to just 5.6 million annual job openings for workers with a high school diploma or less.

Bachelor's degree diploma icon
42%

Unemployment rate for recent college graduates as of September 2023

28%
High school diploma icon

Unemployment rate for recent college graduates as of September 2023

Industries with the Highest Number of Annualized Job Openings Requiring a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher Through 20317

2 Source: College Board’s “Education Pays 2023” report, part of Trends in Higher Education Series. Accessed 11/21/23 from https://research.collegeboard.org/trends/education-pays.This resource provides comprehensive insights into the economic benefits of higher education, documenting variances in earnings, employment patterns, and other societal impacts relative to educational attainment.
3 Breakeven age of graduates paying the net price of college and averaging 4 years of study at public or private schools
4 Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “The Labor Market for Recent College Graduates.” Accessed 11/21/23 from https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/college-labor-market#--:overview.
5 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2022. Calculations by Jennifer Ma and Matea Pender. Note: The data represents the earnings distribution of full-time, year-round workers aged 35 to 44 by education level in 2021. Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding. This chart illustrates that median earnings generally increasewith higher educational attainment, though variations exist within each level of education.
6 Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce forecast using data from the US Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey (CPS); US CensusBureau, American Community Survey (ACS); US Bureau of Labor Statistics; IHS Markit; Lightcast; and US Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey (CPS), 1983.Note: Before 1992, the education variable in the Current Population Survey was identified as years of schooling. We are therefore unable to differentiate between “some college or certificate”and “associate’s degree” in those years.
7 Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce forecast using data from the US Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey (CPS); US CensusBureau, American Community Survey (ACS); US Bureau of Labor Statistics; IHS Markit; and Lightcast. Note: The job openings metric counts new jobs and jobs created when workers move from oneoccupational category to another. It does not count when workers move from job to job within an occupational category.

Our Fellows at Lehman College Attain Quality Opportunities After College

In 2023, 113 Braven Fellows graduated from Lehman College.8

This new class is outpacing their peers nationally in quality opportunity attainment by 9 percentage points (52% vs 43%) within six months of graduation.
96% already make at least $34,000 in their first job after college compared to 71% of all working-age New Yorkers with bachelor’s degrees (ages 25-64).10

6 months after graduation

52% Braven fellows
+9
Percentage points
43% GRADS OF COLOR FROM FOUR YEAR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS
50% ALL GRADS FROM FOUR-YEAR INSTITUTIONS
Braven fellow Thahmid Ahmed
Fall 2022 FELLOW
Thahmid Ahmed
Audit & Assurance Staff,
Crowe LLP
Photo: Joshua Christie | Purpose Portraits

Braven class of 2023 demographics

95%

People of color
27% black, 55% LATINX/A/O, 19% AAPI

80%

Students from low–income backgrounds

61%

First–Generation college students

8 We have jobs data for 81% of FY23 graduates from ourcore model higher education partners.
9 National benchmark estimates are based on data from NACE’s 2022 First Destination Survey (publicly availableand custom cut data) and underemployment researchfrom the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
10 Includes students who identify as any non-White race or ethnicity and/or as a person of color.

Braven Expands in New York City

Braven launched at the City College of New York (CCNY) in January 2023.

71 students took the Accelerator course in their last semester of college and graduated from CCNY in May 2023. While these graduates had an abbreviated experience with the Braven model, 43% achieved a quality first opportunity within six months of finishing college.

The Strength of Roles that our 2023 Graduates at Lehman Secured

In 2023, 113 Braven Lehman Fellows graduated from college. 83% are employed or enrolled in graduate school, and 79% secured quality or pathway roles or enrolled in graduate school.

2023 Braven Graduates

Braven Strength Roles Chart

2022 Peer Graduates of Four-Year Public Colleges and Universities11

Braven Strength Roles Chart
Braven Fellow Melanie Montesdeoca
SPRING 2022 FELLOW
Melanie Montesdeoca
Administrative Assistant, New York
Disaster Interfaith Services
(Pathway role)
Photo: Joshua Christie | Purpose Portraits
11 National benchmark estimates are based on data from NACE’s 2022 First Destination Survey (publicly available and custom cut data) and underemployment research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

How we define quality economic opportunities

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

Our Fellows are on a Thriving Path in Today’s Economy

76%

When students’ access to information capital and networks is strengthened and they have the opportunity to practice professional skills, the American promise is attainable within semesters.

76% of our graduates nationally are already out earning their parents at the same age in their first job out of college.12 By comparison, by age 30, Americans have a 50-50 shot of outearning their parents.13

12 Inclusive of Braven graduates from 2020-2023 based on self-reported responses to the question, “In your current role, do you earn more thaneither of your parents did when they were your age?”
13 Source: Chetty, Raj et al. The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940. Science, December 2016.
Braven fellow Rosalinda Yco
FALL 2022 FELLOW
Rosa (Rosalinda) Yco
California State University - East Bay
Graduate Student Pursuing
Master of Social Work
Photo: Joe Mazza Photography
(San Francisco, CA)

Most popular industries for our Fellows

Education
20%
Health
19%
Banking & Finance
15%
Non-Profit
7%
Higher Education
7%

Building Career Wealth & Health

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 year, Braven is changing our salary benchmark to the American Community Survey, the leading source of information on America’s population updated annually by the U.S. Census. We are using the survey’s most recently released data set for recent college graduates who were employed in 2022, creating comparisons with both college graduates who worked in any capacity and college graduates who worked full-time. After just six months post-graduation, the graduates of Braven and our partner schools are earning above the national average salary of all early career college graduates.

+12.6k

$55,174

Mean salary of employed FY23 Braven graduates in the first 6 months after college graduation14

Compared to a national average of $42,569 of recent college graduates aged 23-24 who were employed in 2022.15

+7.5k

$57,667

Mean salary of full-time employed FY23 Braven graduates in the first 6 months after college graduation

Compared to a national average of $50,122 of recent college graduates aged 23-24 who worked full-time in 2022.16

Braven fellow Enrique Medel
SPRING 2021 FELLOW
Enrique Medel
Youth Residential Specialist,
Thresholds (non-profit)
Photo: Joe Mazza | Brave Lux Inc.
69%

OF RECENT BRAVEN GRADUATES ARE IN ROLES ALIGNED WITH THEIR LONG-TERM CAREER INTERESTS17

83%

OF RECENT BRAVEN GRADUATES HAVE A JOB WITH EMPLOYER PROVIDED BENEFITS17

14 Includes graduates at Braven’s core model sites and includes salary information of all quality, pathway, and non-quality jobs. Data collectedfrom Braven Fellow surveys and online searches based on role and experience level.
15 2022 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. Data filtered by age (AGEP 23-24), income (PINCP >$1), hours worked(WKHP >0), employment status (ESR Civilian employed, at work), and educational attainment (SCHL Bachelor’s degree). Adjusted for inflation to 2023 dollars using the 2022-2023 BLS ECI and ADJINC factor required by data.census.gov/mdat.
16 2022 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. Data filtered by age (AGEP 23-24), income (PINCP >$1), hours worked(WKHP >35), employment status (ESR Civilian employed, at work), and educational attainment (SCHL Bachelor’s degree). Adjusted for inflation to 2023 dollars using the 2022-2023 BLS ECI and ADJINC factor required by data.census.gov/mdat.
17 Inclusive of Braven graduates 2020-2023.
Braven fellow Enrique Medel
SPRING 2021 FELLOW
Enrique Medel
Youth Residential Specialist,
Thresholds (non-profit)
Photo: Joe Mazza | Brave Lux Inc.

The Braven Equation in action

With Lehman College and Braven’s support, and the help of Deloitte’s commitment to recruiting diverse candidates, Edil Abreu got the career foundations that enabled him to bring his strong academic experience to life and get on a path to the American promise.

Networks

Paired with Leadership Coach Monica Chan, Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute, who provided him with 60+ hours of mentorship

Skills

The Braven experience equipped Edil with 5 key career competencies:

  • Self-driven leadership

  • Working in teams

  • Problem solving

  • Networking and communicating

  • Operating and managing

Experiences

Following completion of the Braven course, Edil successfully secured multiple high-quality internships at two Big Four accounting firms in New York City.

Confidence

“Being a Lehman Braven Fellows played a crucial role in preparing me for a successful internship by offering incredible Learning Labs during which we covered essential topics like networking, LinkedIn, resume modules, and more."

Braven fellow Adil Abreu
SPRING 2020 FELLOW
Edil Abreu
Risk & Financial Advisory
Analyst, Deloitte
Photo: Joshua Christie | Purpose Portraits
2a.

Are we supporting Fellows to secure internships?

Disparities in Access and Completion of Internships

In an extensive literature review of 13 career readiness interventions, the Harvard Project on Workforce found that internships were the most effective intervention in terms of research-based evidence and implementation.18 But across socioeconomic lines of difference, there are inequities in internship attainment and paid internship attainment.

Whether an internship is paid and how much it is paid are important factors because paid internships lead to more full-time job offers and higher starting pay. In a recent national survey by Gallup, 20% of students said they could not afford to have an internship because they needed to work for pay or make more money in a better-paying job.19

National Data Show First-Generation Students are Less Likely to Participate in Internships20

67%
First-year first-generation college students who INTEND to complete an internship during their college experience
41%
Senior-year first-generation college students who ACTUALLY participated or are participating in an internship during their college experience

Pell Grant Recipients and First-Generation Students are Less Likely to Participate in Paid Internships21

18 Source: David Deming, Joseph B. Fuller, Rachel Lipson, et al. Delivering on the Degree: The College-to-Jobs Playbook. Published by Harvard Kennedy School. April 2023.
19 Source: Gallup: Four in 10 College Students Have Had Internship Experience by Stephanie Marken and Drew Curtis. August 16, 2023.
20 Source: Strada Viewpoint: From College to Career: Students’ Internship Expectations and Experiences. May 2023.
21 Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2023 Student Survey

Encouraging Levels of Internship Attainment for our Fellows at Lehman College

For college students, internships serve as critical proof points of experience that open professional doors.

Compared with graduates nationally, Braven 2023 graduates of Lehman College were 19 percentage points more likely to have at least one internship during their college experience.

Likelihood of at least one internship during college

60% BRAVEN 2023 GRADUATES of Lehman College22
+19
Percentage points
41% NATIONAL 2022 GRADUATES OF COLOR
48% National 2022 graduates23
22 Braven Fellow internship data was available for 89% of the class of 2023 from Braven’s core programs and was sourced from self-reported surveys and LinkedIn profiles.
23 Source: Strada Viewpoint: From College to Career: Students’ Internship Expectations and Experiences. May 2023.
Braven fellow Heidy Animas
SPRING 2023 FELLOW
Heidy Animas
Student Intern, Gantry Group
Photo: Joshua Christie | Purpose Portraits
2b.

In partnership, are we supporting Fellows on the path to college completion?

Undergraduate Enrollment
Starting to Recover

Undergraduate Enrollment by Institution Type and Year

HBCU Enrollment Rises

Increase in undergraduate enrollment
at Historically Black Colleges
and Universities (HBCUs)
between 2020 and 2023

Increase in Associate Degree Demand

Increase in students pursuing associate
degrees, which is a critical pipeline for
4-year colleges and universities,
in Fall 2023 compared to Fall 2022

24 Source: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s Spring 2023 Current Term Enrollment Estimates

Braven Fellows on a Thriving Path in Today’s Economy

Our Fellows have achieved a 76% six-year on-time graduation rate.26

76%

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.25

25 Implied 6-year graduation rate for Black and Latinx students who persisted from freshman to sophomore year at four-year public institutions. Sources:U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, 2021 release of Tables 326.10, 326.30, and 306.50
26 Six-year graduation data of Braven Fellows who enrolled as first-time freshmen at San José State University, Rutgers University-Newark, and Lehman College,not including those who took Braven as seniors
Braven fellow Mark Paghubasan
Spring 2022 FELLOW
Mark Paghubasan
Assistant Manager,
Vector Marketing Corporation
Photo: Joshua Christie | Purpose Portraits

A Spotlight on

Two Key Partners at Lehman College

Lehman College CUNY Logo
Dene Hurley
Dene Hurley
Dean, Lehman College School of Business
Braven Professor of Record
Bascillia Toussaint
Bascillia Toussaint
Director, Career Exploration
and Development Center

We Couldn’t Do It Without You!

Higher Education & Employer Partners

Higher Education Partners

Chicago State University (BravenX)
City College of New York – CUNY
Delaware State University
Lehman College – CUNY
National Louis University
Northern Illinois University
Rutgers University - Newark
San José State University
Spelman College


BravenX Partners

Achieve Atlanta
Ascend Public Schools
Charter School Growth Fund
Chicago Scholars
City Year
Coney Island Prep
Cooperman College Scholars
Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas
DSST Public Schools
Evanston Scholars
Excel Academy Charter Schools
Excellence Community Schools
Freedom Preparatory Academy
Harmony Public Schools
KIPP Forward
KIPP Foundation
KIPP NJ - Newark
LISA Academy
Making Waves Education Foundation
National Association for Urban Debate Leagues
Newark Youth Career Pathways Program
NJ Seeds
Noble Schools
One Million Degrees
Rivet School
The Academy Charter School
The Wight Foundation
Uncommon Schools
Uplift Education
UtmostU
Wallin Education Partners

Employer Partners

Lead
($250k+ and programmatic support)

Apollo Opportunity Foundation
Barclays
Credit Suisse
Deloitte
Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women
LinkedIn
Morgan Stanley
NBA Foundation
Salesforce

Anchor
($100k+ and programmatic support)

Anonymous
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Cognizant US Foundation
ServiceNow
UBS

Keystone
($25k+ and programmatic support)

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Blackbaud
Brooks Brothers & The Golden Fleece Foundation
Cerberus Capital Management
CIBC Bank USA
PwC
Taco Bell Foundation
United Airlines

Innovation
(($10k+ and programmatic support)

Neuberger Berman
Rakuten International

Impact
($5k+ and/or programmatic support)

Cadent
The College Board
Eagle Capital Management
Google
Hall Capital Partners
Marc Jacobs
Montefiore Medical Center
YES Network
Wipfli

Supporters ($10k+)

Akila Grewal
Association for a Better New York (ABNY)
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation
The Carson Family Charitable Trust
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies
Deloitte Foundation
Gray Foundation
The Ichigo Foundation
James Ely
Jeffrey H. and Shari L. Aronson Family Foundation
The John P. and Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation
Ken Ohashi
Meghan Mackay & Allen Thorpe
The Neuberger Berman Foundation
Robert Mize and Isa White Trimble Family Foundation
Sarah Peter
Schultz Family Foundation
Siegel Family Endowment