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.
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.