Braven aims to empower promising, underrepresented young people with the skills, confidence, experiences, and networks necessary to transition from college to solid jobs, which lead to meaningful careers and lives of impact. The model includes online modules and Leadership Coaches that support students in developing job search self-efficacy, career self-efficacy, grit, a sense of belonging, and a growth mindset.
Why We Invested
A Better Chicago first invested in Braven in early 2020 because of its compelling model and commitment to innovation in filling a critical gap in career preparation for first-generation college students, students from low-income backgrounds, and students of color. Braven has continued to innovate its program delivery models and university partnership strategies in Chicago. The organization is headed by a strong leadership team and has excelled operationally, including fundraising and technological improvements. As a relatively young organization in Chicago, Braven does not yet have comprehensive data on long-term outcomes locally. Still, local key indicators are promising, and national data on quality employment is strong.
Braven continues to fill a critical gap in the career preparation space, not only through its core model and Accelerator course but also through innovative new ways of reaching students. For example, Braven has partnered with peer organizations through BravenX, a virtual fellowship experience for students not attending a partner university. After promising results of BravenX’s virtual implementation, Braven will permanently offer Braven Online, a program offering graduating seniors and recent alums support in navigating the current job market. Braven Online will serve students from college access and success partners nationally and may be the implementation model for some university partnerships. In addition, Braven will build off its recent success in securing top-tier employer partners, such as LinkedIn and Salesforce. The organization is also working diligently to secure partnerships with prominent universities in the Chicago area. This year, Braven is implementing a pilot at one new university partner and is planning to launch at another university in the fall of 2022.
Investment launched in January 2020. Management support projected to begin later this year.