Capital One Expands Support to Delaware State and Braven

This funding will enable Braven to support more than 1,100 students at Delaware State University over the next three years

Building upon Capital One’s commitment to bridge the education-to-employment gap in higher education, the Capital One Foundation is providing $1.5 million in grant funding to Braven, an organization that assists first-generation college students, students from low-income backgrounds and/or students of color to transition from college to the workforce.

The Capital One Foundation’s grant will bring Braven’s research-backed programming to Delaware State University (DSU) — the second Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and first public HBCU to join forces with Braven. Launching in 2024, the program will support more than 2,100 students over the next five years, including 1,100 students in the first three years.

"Capital One’s commitment to Braven was instrumental in launching this program at Delaware State University,” says Aimée Eubanks Davis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Braven. “As a person of color, it is never lost on me the potential this partnership has for incredibly talented students on the path to starting their careers.”

This grant builds upon Capital One’s relationships with both Braven and DSU. In 2021, Capital One provided a $1 million investment to help Braven launch at its first HBCU site at Spelman College — one of Atlanta’s premiere HBCUs. That same year, Capital One donated a $4.7 million riverfront facility to enable DSU’s return to the city of Wilmington, Delaware, and expand its offerings in the heart of the state's only metropolitan core. 

"As a significant investor in Braven’s Spelman launch, Capital One witnessed the shared value of how Braven prepares students for the workforce and engages employers throughout the programming,” says Joe Westcott, Delaware Market President at Capital One. “Naturally, Capital One saw the opportunity to support Braven in delivering its programming to DSU and the Delaware business community.” 

The Braven Experience

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 7,400 students across seven universities (City College of New York, Rutgers University-Newark, San José State University, Lehman College, National Louis University, Spelman College and Northern Illinois University). 

The Braven experience begins with a credit-bearing course, ideally taken during students’ sophomore or junior years. Fellows complete weekly online modules on Braven’s online platform and then apply that content through weekly virtual Learning Labs in a cohort of 5-8 peers facilitated by a volunteer Leadership Coach. 

For 12 weeks, volunteers help Braven Fellows grow their leadership in five professional competencies: operating and managing, problem-solving, working in teams, networking and communicating, and self-driven leading. 

Upon completing the course, Fellows receive additional opportunities to develop leadership and career-readiness skills, engage in an enduring professional network and stay on track to securing vital internships and jobs. This includes Braven’s Professional Mentor Program, which provides students with individualized mentoring for 12 weeks in their desired field as they get closer to the time of the job search. The program also offers access to Braven’s jobs blast with internship, research assistantship and job opportunities; as well as professional development and networking events such as company treks and skill builders. 

Since 2022, more than 160 Capital One volunteers have contributed 2,310 hours of service supporting Braven’s students as Leadership Coaches or Professional Mentors, as well as through conducting mock interviews and resume reviews.

Nationwide, Braven Fellows outpace the national average for strong job attainment. Within six months of graduation, 61 percent of Braven’s 2022 graduates secured quality full-time jobs worthy of their bachelor’s degree, or enrolled in graduate school compared to 56 percent of all graduates and 47 percent of students from similar backgrounds. Furthermore, 68 percent of Braven 2022 college graduates have at least one internship during college compared with 48 percent of all college graduates and 41 percent of graduates of color.

Capital One’s investment comes as part of the Capital One Impact Initiative to support growth in underserved communities and advance socioeconomic mobility by closing gaps in equity and opportunity.

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