Aimée Eubanks Davis
Supporting college students in landing meaningful careers post-graduation.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Only 25% of about 1.2 million low-income, first-generation college enrollees will attain a quality first job or go to graduate school. With less traditional support systems, first-generation students often lack the skills, confidence, experiences, and networks to get strong first jobs. This reality leads to opportunity gaps and hampers a large portion of college graduates from joining the next generation of leaders.
Braven partners with universities and employers to build cutting-edge career education into the undergraduate experience for low-income and first-generation college students. These students, Braven Fellows, take a course at their participating partner institutions, which earns them college credit and folds them into the Braven network working to grow an extraordinary, diverse generation of leaders. Through online education and coaching, Braven graduates gain the key competencies, experiences, networks, and confidence needed to succeed in the workforce. Since its founding in 2013, the organization has scaled to three cities and worked with over 1600 students. After 6 months, 7 in 10 Braven college graduates land strong jobs worthy of their college degrees—compared to fewer than 1 in 2 of their peers. By creating pathways to strong employment, Braven is proving that the American promise is real and tangible for first-generation college students who come from low-income backgrounds.
“Jalil did all that we tell our young people they need to do in order to succeed. He graduated from the Fremont Unified School District and went on to attend De Anza Community College. He worked hard, got good grades, and transferred to San Jose State University. As a transferred junior, he spent three hours each day commuting back and forth to campus and paid for school with grants and scholarships.
He did everything right. But as a junior he had far fewer connections and career-development experiences than many of his more affluent peers. He wasn’t as likely to land the same fancy summer internship. He just worked incredibly hard and stayed incredibly focused—which we know should be enough, but isn’t.
Our team at Braven had the privilege of working with Jalil during his junior year in the credit-bearing course we lead at San José State University. In this time, he worked through online content and with a coach from the workforce and a cohort of his peers to develop his resume and interview skills, apply to (and receive!) a paid internship with Teach For America, communicate with the workforce, expand his network, understand his personal leadership assets, and learn to use data and design thinking to solve complex problems.
Jalil’s hard work paid off. At the start of his senior year, he earned a coveted Google Bold internship in Mountain View. And today, he works as an Active Channels Specialist at Google.”