Impact Report

2021-2022 School Year

We are 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.

Spring 2021 Fellow
Bryan Javier Business Development Representative, Infor
Spring 2021 Fellow
Yamilex Batista Talent Acquisition Coordinator, McCann Health

Driving toward
a better system

Driving toward a better system

Fall 2021 Fellow
Fridda Fernandez  Student Development Coordinator, Future 5
Photo: Joshua Christie | purpose Portraits

Fellows continue to be deeply impacted by the pandemic, uncertain labor market and now, a potential recession. At Braven, we’re working towards creating a fundamentally better system that allows our nation’s talented young people the opportunity to achieve economic freedom.

This report highlights Braven’s impact through the stories of our inspiring Fellows.

Are Braven Fellows getting quality opportunities that put them on the path to economic mobility and the American promise?
Are we impacting more students and maintaining program quality?
Is Braven supporting Fellows on the path to internships and college completion?
Are Braven Fellows developing the soft skills and networks needed for success?
Are we building employer and higher education partnerships with true shared value?

Why our work matters

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. That’s nearly 1 million students every single year who are not on the path to greater economic mobility.


Braven empowers promising 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.

Spring 2021 Fellow
Naïssa Charles  Software Engineer, Publicis Sapient
Photo: Joe Mazza | Brave Lux Inc.

The Braven Model

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 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.


Are Braven Fellows getting quality opportunities that put them on the path to economic mobility and the American promise?


The National Labor Market

Sunny with a Chance of Hurricane

Job prospects for new college graduates are back to pre-pandemic levels

Anticipated Hiring Increase for the Class of 2022


to hire new graduates from the Class of 2022 as Compared to 2021 1


of employers increased salaries for entry-level jobs between 2021 and 2022 2

Decreasing Unemployment Rates

1 NACE 2022 Jobs Outlook
2 Monster: Bring On Gen Z
3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor via Data Commons

Yet, the economy is not as robust as job numbers assert

Inflation is at its highest rate in four decades.4 The U.S. is trying to keep a delicate balance of reducing inflation without increasing unemployment and starting a recession. New college grads are most vulnerable in a recession.5

Increased Inflation & Fear of an Impending Recession

Inflation Hits New Four-Decade High 6



Increased Wages Versus Inflation

Wage growth in the last one to two years has not kept up with inflation, meaning salaries have less buying power even if they are nominally higher.7

Recent college graduates with student loan debt and other bills are already feeling the impacts of this squeeze.

4 Why a Not-So-Hot Economy Might Be Good News, The New York Times
5 How to Explain This Weird Job Market, The Wall Street Journal
6 Consumer Price Index since 1913 through June 2022 - Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
7 Tight labor markets and wage growth in the current economy, Brookings

Strength of Roles Braven Lehman 2021 Graduates Secured



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 and offers limited runway to additional career-accelerating opportunities and/or is not aligned with students’ career interests

1 This includes jobs data for 90% of FY21 graduates from Lehman College.
2 National benchmark estimates are based on data from NACE’s First Destination Survey, and underemployment research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
3 Since releasing the 2022 Jobs Report, we have updated our estimate for Braven graduates’ national peer benchmark from 45% to 46% to reflect a change in our methodology of estimating national peer employment rates (as sourced from National Association of Colleges and Employers’ First Destination Survey).

The Strength of Roles Braven 2021 Graduates Secured

In 2021, 113 Braven Lehman Fellows graduated from college.1 These are the strengths of the roles they've landed. Given this group of Fellows graduated into a challenging labor market, we’re encouraged to see that close to 4 out of 5 Fellows secured quality or pathway roles.2

Fall 2021 Fellow
Veronica Orellana Mendez Certified Pharmacy Technician, Montefiore Medical Center
Photo: Joshua Christie | purpose Portraits

Spring 2021 Fellow
Yamilex Batista Talent Acquisition Coordinator, McCann Health
Photo: Joshua Christie | Purpose Portraits

Braven Lehman graduates are more likely to experience economic mobility in their first job than New Yorkers with college degrees in various stages of their careers

The State Of Poverty And Disadvantage In New York City is a long-running study by Columbia University and the Robin Hood Foundation that looks at the dynamics of poverty for New Yorkers. The project’s newest report considers what occupations and job qualities provide economic stability and mobility. One finding is that individuals need to earn $34K+ (200% of the poverty level) in their jobs to attain economic mobility. Of all employed New Yorkers aged 25-64 with college degrees, 71% earn over that $34K benchmark. Of our Braven 2021 Lehman graduates, 74% are already matching or exceeding that benchmark.1

Lehman graduates are more likely to experience income mobility than New Yorkers with bachelor’s degrees overall 2

1 Source: Maury, Matthew; Omoragbon, Airenakhue; Collyer, Sophie; Oltmans, Sarah; Sarnoff, Chloe; and Wime, Christopher. Spotlight on Occupations & Mobility: Paths towards economic security through education and work. Poverty Tracker, October 2021.
2 In the figure above, we use the The State Of Poverty And Disadvantage In New York City team’s definitions for low income (less than $34,000 for individuals) and working age (ages 25-64).
3 Braven has benchmarked or self-reported salary data for 86% of employed Braven Lehman graduates of FY21.

Across lines of race, Braven Fellows outpace peers nationally in quality economic outcomes

Quality Economic Opportunities


1 Braven FY21 Fellows include those for our core model schools: Lehman College, Rutgers University-Newark, and San José State University. Sample size of Black Fellows: 139; Latinx/o/a Fellows: 211; Asian Fellows: 171. This does not include data from Spelman College where we just launched with sophomores. National estimates are based on data from NACE’s 2019 First Destination Survey (the latest pre-pandemic class available as of September 2022) and underemployment research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
2 These numbers reflect a correction to the national estimates by race that were originally published in the 2022 Impact Report and had undercounted national quality employment rate.

Fall 2021 Fellow
Khangal Ariungerel Associate, Silicon Valley Bank
Photo: Darius Riley | Hour Voyses


The Most Important Predictive Factor in Post-Graduation Outcomes

The more internships students have in college, the better their chances of securing a quality post-graduate outcome.


Going from 0 to 1 internship in college increases a student's chances of a quality outcome by 54%. 1


Each additional internship increases the probability of a quality outcome by 29% more than an additional point in GPA.

1 Based on internship and post-graduation outcomes analysis of Braven college graduates at Lehman College, San Jose State University, and Rutgers University-Newark between FY16 and FY21.

Fall 2020 Fellow
Diana Ng Du Social Media Publishing Coordinator, Ubisoft
Photo: Darius Riley | Hour Voyses

The Braven Equation

With Braven’s help, Bryan Javier built the foundation to get on the path to the American promise.

Spring 2021 Fellow
Bryan Javier  Business Development Representative, Infor
Photo: Joshua Christie | Purpose Portraits


Are we impacting more students and maintaining program quality?

scale & program

More than 5,100 Fellows served nationwide


years of service


U.S. regions

2021-2022 Braven Fellows in our classic model


Fellows completed the Braven course in the 2021-2022 school year at Lehman College

2021-2022 Fellows who identify as 1

1 Numbers add up to more than 100% because Fellows can self-select more than one demographic.


course PASS RATE for
all 2021-2022 fellows


Average level of
content mastery

most popular majors

Business Administration
Social Work
Dietetics, Foods, and Nutrition
Computer Science


Is Braven supporting Fellows on the path to internships & college completion?

& college

Internship hiring rises
but disparities persist

Quality experiences during college that connect students’ education with their career aspirations are critical for post-graduation success.1 Despite increases in internship hiring, disparities persist across racial and gender lines in obtaining these experiences.

To evaluate the diversity of the internship cohort more deeply, the National Association of Colleges and Employers conducted a disproportionality analysis to assess whether the proportions of the 2020-2021 intern cohort data are proportional to the enrolled, four-year college-attending student population.

1 Student Outcomes Beyond Completion: National Findings From the 2021 Strada Alumni Survey
2 NACE 2021 Internship & Co-op Survey - custom disaggregated analysis performed for Braven

Spring 2022 Fellow
Malik Aldridge Marketing Intern, Boxd
Photo: Joshua Christie | Purpose Portraits

Encouraging levels of internship attainment for Braven Fellows

For college students, internships serve as critical proof points of experience that open professional doors. Compared with their peers nationally, our Braven 2021 graduates nationwide were 11 percentage points more likely to have at least one internship during their college experience.

Internship Attainment

Disaggregated by Race

Nationally, about half of the internships in the U.S. were canceled in spring 2020.1 Despite this, Black and Latinx/o/a graduates of the Braven class of 2021 outpaced their peer graduates of color in internship attainment.

1 Glassdoor: COVID-19 And The Lost College Internship
2 Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers 2021 internship data (custom cut)
2 Includes 2021 Braven graduates at Lehman College, San José State University, and Rutgers University-Newark

Fellows’ Internship Experiences

What They Gained

Spring 2021 BravenX Fellow
Breiana Moore Data Analyst Intern, Recipe for Change
During my internship with Recipe for Change, I fine tuned my networking skills while building relationships with organizations in the Chicagoland area. My internship also allowed me to use my research skills in both qualitative and quantitative methods while gaining experience within my industry.
Spring 2022 Fellow
Malik Aldridge Marketing Intern, Boxd
Photo: Joshua Christie | purpose Portraits
During my internship, I learned the importance of community. I also learned valuable habits that I can take with me throughout my professional career.
NetApp was our Capstone Challenge sponsor, allowing me to gain a greater connection with their recruiters and helping me land an internship. I have always been a really introverted person, but through Braven I learned how to develop a strong elevator pitch that highlights my accomplishments and experiences.
Fall 2021 Fellow
Marina Baltazar Services Intern, NetApp
Photo: Darius Riley | Hour Voyses
Fall 2020 Fellow
Ernest Duversaint Virtual Courtroom Intern, Newark Community Solutions
Photo: Joshua Christie | purpose Portraits
Through my internship, I learned how to properly manage a social media page and effectively collaborate on projects with different departments. Whether working in a workplace you own or you're a part of, being able to collaborate and work together is what helps you get the work done.

Encouraging levels of on-time graduation

Our 322 all-time Braven Fellows at Lehman College are persisting and graduating at encouraging rates.1

1 Includes graduation data of 322 all-time Braven Fellow graduates, exclusive of any Fellows who took Braven as a senior.

Spring 2021 Fellow
Oumaima Eddoubaji Audit associate, PFK O' Connor Davies Accounting Firm
Photo: Joshua Christie | Purpose Portraits


Are Braven Fellows developing the soft skills and networks needed for success?


Growth in
non-cognitive measures

Each semester, Braven measures growth in non-cognitive factors between the start and end of the Braven Accelerator. Non-cognitive factors, which are not usually measured through traditional assessments like standardized tests, are associated with academic and lifetime success and can play large roles in explaining job search and career behaviors and outcomes.1


1 Frank, J.L. (2020). School-Based Practices for the 21st Century: Noncognitive Factors in Student Learning and Psychosocial Outcomes. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Vol. 7(1) 44–51.

Job Search Self-Efficacy: The belief that you can successfully perform the behaviors required in a job search to land a job


Career Self-Efficacy: The belief that you can successfully perform behaviors for career planning, decision-making, and progression


Networking Self-Efficacy: The belief that you can successfully develop and use social networks by acquiring and cultivating contacts


Spring 2020 Fellow
Fallon Sunny Lyken CEO & Phlebotomist, Mobile Phlebotomy and Vitals
Photo: Joshua Christie | Purpose Portraits

The Power of Mentorship

Upon completion of the Braven class, Fellows are invited to join the Professional Mentoring (PM) Program through which they receive 12 weeks of 1:1 coaching from a professional in their desired career field.

The PM Program is one of the most impactful interventions in our post-course experience: 38% of participants secured a career-accelerating opportunity during the Spring 2022 cycle.

To meet the needs of our Fellows, we have grown the PM Program by 78% from the Spring 2021 to the Spring 2022 cycle. We also strive to create better mentoring matches with each cycle.

Recruited Fellow Mentees per Professional Mentor Program CYCLE NATIONALLY

Because of my Braven Professional Mentor Ms. Olson, I now know I have what it takes to become accepted into a prestigious MSW program. By working with her, I was able to improve my time management skills, polish my resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. Thank you, Ms. Olson, for keeping me focused on my lifelong goals.
Fall 2021 Fellow
Sadaf (Sofia) Latif Graduate Student, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Those who have achieved professional success have a responsibility to pay it forward. Braven has developed an incredible framework around this mission and volunteering as a mentor is a meaningful way to help close these gaps. My mentee Sofia is extraordinarily focused and motivated, and it has been extremely rewarding to work with her.
Professional Mentor
Shelby Olson Principal, CareerLife Directions


Are we building employer and higher education partnerships with true shared value?


Employer Collaboration Spotlight

Our collaboration with Deloitte helps open doors to the American promise.

Roger Arrieux Jr.
Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP
NYC Founding Board Chair & National Board Member
Muna Sheikh
Managing Director, Deloitte & Touche LLP
Bay Area Board Member
Ron Sonenthal
Partner, Deloitte Tax LLP
Chicago Board Member
At Deloitte, we’re deeply committed to embedding purpose into everything we do – diverse recruiting practices, inclusive leadership development, and our impact in the communities where we live and work. We are investing in Braven’s mission and efforts to create a more equitable society through annual funding, recruitment of Braven Fellows, and skills-based volunteering engagements.
Kwasi Mitchell
Chief Purpose Officer, Principal, Deloitte US
Fall 2017 Fellow
Jennifer Dios Analyst, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Photo: Joshua Christie | purpose Portraits
Braven helped me develop skills and confidence I needed to transition from college to my first job here at Deloitte. I am grateful for what I learned from the Braven experience as it helped me to grow personally and professionally.



in investments to propel students majoring in business, accounting and STEM along their educational journeys through the Braven experience, in addition to serving as lead sponsor of the Professional Mentoring Program.

The Deloitte Foundation is dedicated to accelerating innovation and equity in education. We are proud to support Braven’s efforts to empower students as they aspire to meaningful careers.
Erin Scanlon
President, Deloitte Foundation
Fall 2021 Fellow
Marina Baltazar
Photo: Darius Riley | Hour Voyses

We couldn’t do it without you

NYC Supporters ($10K+)

Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies
Deloitte Foundation
ECMC Foundation
Gray Foundation
Meghan Mackay & Allen Thorpe
New Profit, Inc.
Rick Witmer
Robert Mize and Isa White Trimble Family Foundation
Sarah Peter
Schultz Family Foundation
Siegel Family Endowment
The Carson Family Charitable Trust
The Heckscher Foundation for Children
The Jeffrey H. and Shari L. Aronson Family Foundation
The John P. and Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation
Valhalla Foundation

NYC Employer Partners

Credit Suisse
Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women
Morgan Stanley
NBA Foundation

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Brooks Brothers


eos Products
Hall Capital Partners
Montefiore Medical Center
The College Board