Posted by Al Anile
Guest Speaker Jonathan Chaparro, Braven's Founding Site Director Chicago
 
Braven launched in Chicago, our Founder Aimée’s hometown, in 2018 and is working with partners across the city to ensure that all local talent thrives.
 
In the last 10 years, through concerted efforts across education institutions, nonprofits and the philanthropic community, the percentage of Chicago Public School 9th graders completing 4-year college degrees rose from a bleak 8% to 18%. While this is encouraging progress, the reality for far too many local students is that college still isn’t translating into completion and success beyond graduation.
 
Braven is proud to be joining city-wide efforts to ensure all Chicago students maximize their talent.
 
We are embarking on a founding partnership with National Louis University’s Harrison Professional Pathways Program and will become a systemic career-acceleration approach for all sophomores. National Louis University’s forward- thinking leadership and commitment to better preparing underrepresented students for careers make it an ideal founding partner. Students earn their Bachelor’s for $40,000 and choose one of six career pathways. The student body is 95% people of color and 85% Pell Grant eligible.
 
The talent and engagement of local companies fuels the Braven experience. Over the next three years, local employer partners will engage in hundreds of professional development opportunities through Braven as well as have access to more than 1000 career-ready individuals.
 
In Chicago, with a diverse economy, our employer partners reflect a balance of for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that span multiple sectors and sizes.