We helped fund the launch of Braven, a career success program targeting the education-to-employment gap, in New York City through a strategic partnership with Lehman College. A key component of Braven’s growth plans and long-term sustainability is to increase earned revenue streams coming from university and employer partners with the goal of having universities, employers, and donors each contributing one-third of Braven’s total revenue. For the New York City launch, CUNY Central is covering a portion (approximately one-third) of the per pupil cost with Lehman College supporting the joint fundraising efforts to cover the remainder of the fee. CUNY will also provide a researcher to help evaluate the impact of the work.

Braven offers a two-part career education experience for underrepresented college students that begins with a credit-bearing course and is followed by a post-course experience that lasts through college graduation. Volunteer professionals from local employers facilitate the in-person experience and lead teams of 5-8 Fellows through weekly Learning Labs, sharing real-world application and feedback and providing social capital.

Heckscher’s catalytic support will fuel Braven’s launch in New York City at Lehman College to ensure first-generation college students, students from low-income backgrounds, and students of color have the skills, networks, experiences, and confidence to graduate college with a strong first job and a path to economic mobility. As an early champion, Heckscher provides the critical financial support, thought partnership, and endorsement that will allow us to scale effectively across New York City.
Aimée Eubanks Davis
CEO & Founder, Braven

We will be tracking not only program completion but long-term attainment of a strong job, defined as a job that requires a bachelor’s degree, is full-time, and offers a competitive starting salary with pathways to promotion. To date, 69% of Braven Fellows (in other program sites) have secured quality full-time jobs or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation. Additionally, 71% of Braven college graduates have at least one internship during college and 95% are persisting in or have graduated from college.

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