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, 212 Braven Fellows graduated from Rutgers
University-Newark.11 This new class is outpacing their peers nationally in strong economic opportunity attainment by 17 percentage points (64% 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, Silvia Jaramillo-Regalado built the foundation for her 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 RU-N 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 at RU-N have achieved a 94% six-year on-time graduation rate.
Rutgers University - Newark
($250K+ and programmatic support)
Apollo Opportunity Foundation
Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women
($100K+ and programmatic support)
($25K+ and programmatic support)
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Lazard Asset Management
($5K+ & programmatic support)
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
IPG Health Network
McKinsey & Company
(<$5K and/or programmatic support)
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
John & Wendy Cozzi
Lisa & Joseph Amato
New Profit, Inc.
Susan & Thomas Dunn