Braven, a nonprofit organization, announced today it has received a significant two-year commitment from Barclays to support its mission to close the education-to-employment gap in higher education. Through Barclays’ financial investment of $1 million and the addition of mentoring offered by Barclays colleagues, Braven will be able to upskill more than 4,200 four-year college students and support more than 650 graduates to employment in the next two years.With this support, Barclays becomes one of Braven’s top all-time corporate contributors, as well as a founding funder for a proposed new partnership with Delaware State University. Yesterday, Braven and Delaware State signed a letter of intent highlighting their respective commitment.
The bank’s continued partnership with Braven is helping Barclays to deliver on its Citizenship ambition to enable people to develop the skills and opportunities they need to get into work. It is another example of the bank’s commitment to promote social equity in local communities.
“We are so incredibly grateful for Barclays’ support,” said Aimée Eubanks Davis, Founder & CEO of Braven. “It is invaluable as we work to expand our impact in our existing sites of New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, and a proposed partnership with Delaware State University, to help thousands more college students on their path to economic success and the freedom it brings.”
Braven empowers promising, underrepresented college students with the skills, confidence, experiences, and networks necessary to transition from college to strong first jobs which lead to meaningful careers and lives of impact. To date, Braven has worked with 5,100 students across five universities (Rutgers University-Newark, San José State, Lehman College, National Louis University, and Spelman College). This year, Braven announced new partnerships with Northern Illinois University and the City College of New York and is pursuing expansion to new markets with the support of champions like Barclays.
“Braven helped me figure out my passions, what I wanted to do, and develop the skills, networks, and experiences I needed,” said Jamila Ritter, an Assistant Vice President at Barclays, current Braven Leadership Coach, and Braven alumna from Rutgers University-Newark. “With the support and training from Braven, I was equipped with the skills to land a strong job at Barclays with a career path, and now I’m paying it forward to the next generation.”
In addition to this financial contribution, Barclays colleagues volunteer to support Braven Fellows. They serve as mentors and Leadership Coaches, volunteering several hours per week for 15 weeks to help Fellows grow their leadership in a variety of professional competencies. Barclays is also sponsoring a Capstone Challenge, where Fellows compete in a design-thinking sprint which culminates in a pitch competition addressing the company’s most pressing pain points. Barclays has hired several Braven Fellows and has committed to expanding opportunities for Braven alumni within the firm.
“We are proud to partner with Braven, an organization working to build a brighter future for the next generation,” shared Deborah Goldfarb, Global Head of Citizenship at Barclays. “By equipping college students attending HBCUs and public universities with the skills and networks to successfully secure employment, we are helping to build a diverse, more equitable talent pipeline and workforce.”
Braven Fellows outpace the national average for strong job attainment both before and amid the pandemic. Within six months of graduation, 61% of Braven’s 2021 graduates secured quality full-time jobs worthy of their bachelor’s degree or enrolled in graduate school compared to 54% of all graduates and 46% of students from similar backgrounds. Furthermore, 64% of Braven college graduates have at least one internship during college compared with 55% of all college graduates and 53% of students from similar backgrounds.