In 2013, CEO & Founder Aimée Eubanks Davis launched Braven, having identified the education-to-employment gap faced by some of our most promising young leaders.
During their first two years they piloted several programs in both the K-12 and higher education spaces. They had great success with college students and decided that they should focus their programming on solving the education-to-employment gap in higher education. With a clear vision of impact, they:
Launched their current college program in 2014 with their founding university partner San José State University.
Brought Braven to the East Coast in 2015 with a partnership with Rutgers University-Newark, the most diverse college in the United States.
Will now reach more than 1000 Fellows this school year and bring Braven to their founder’s hometown of Chicago in a unique partnership with National Louis University.
Mission: What is means to be Braven
- DEMONSTRATE DON’T DEBATE: They have intrinsic drive, never give up, and prove what is possible through our actions. Our goals are ambitious and measurable. Our belief in our vision is urgent and unshakeable.
- EMBRACE THE JOURNEY: We continually reflect and rigorously improve to reach our destination. We celebrate success, and leverage setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow. We challenge and inspire each other. Our collective memory is filled with laughter, joy and fun!
- FIND A WAY: Robust data and experience guide our decisions. Being disciplined while also nimble and innovative is critical to uncovering our full potential. We greet new ideas with a sense of possibility.
- GO TOGETHER; GO FURTHER: Maintaining a generosity of spirit is critical as we work in partnership and seek the perspectives of others enabling us to understand the limits of our own. Our diverse community is one of our greatest assets, and we work to ensure and promote inclusive environments that foster equality of opportunity.
- LIVE YOUR LEGACY: We align our actions with our beliefs and have the courage to do what is right even when it is hardest to do so. We are transparent about our decisions and actions, and authentic in all that we do. Others paved the path for us; we must do it for others.
The Gift that Makes it All Possible
The Cooperman College Scholars program is made possible by a grant from the Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation.
Mr. and Mrs. Cooperman both grew up in the South Bronx. The son of Jewish immigrants who fled Poland, Mr. Cooperman was raised with his brother in a tiny, one-bedroom apartment. His father worked as a plumber and died on the job; Mrs. Cooperman’s father sold bed linens.
Mr. Cooperman was the first in his family to go to college, attending Hunter (then called Lehman) College, a City University of New York (CUNY) public institution, where he met his future wife; he studied Chemistry, she History. Mr. Cooperman earned his degree in just three years and entered dental school. Deciding after eight days that it was not the career for him, Mr. Cooperman re-enrolled at CUNY and took 10 economics courses, earning as in every class.
Mr. Cooperman went on to Columbia Business School and from there to Goldman Sachs. Starting out, the young couple faced overwhelming student loan debt (and negative net worth) while raising a six-month-old son, but Mr. Cooperman, always known for his prodigious work ethic, persevered and founded the asset-management business at Goldman, leaving after 25 years to launch his own hedge fund, Omega Advisors, Inc.
The Cooperman’s have lived in Essex County for 36 years, raising their two sons there. Mrs. Cooperman is retired from a career in special education at the Early Childhood Learning Center of New Jersey.
They are overjoyed to donate this gift.
Mission: The mission of Cooperman College Scholars is to help highly motivated, academically talented, under-represented students thrive in college. They place students in challenging, well-matched environments with solid support systems, and they eliminate the pressures of insufficient financial aid which can negatively affect student retention and graduation.
Each year, Future Scholars selects 200 students from 5 New Jersey school districts, plus select students from one Rutgers-affiliated Charter School
Mission: Providing First Generation-to-College, Low-Income, Promising Middle School Students a Winning chance at obtaining Higher Education
The objectives of the Rutgers Future Scholars program are to:
- Increase the number of promising students who complete high school.
- Encourage them to apply to and attend post-secondary educational institutions, including Rutgers University.
- Develop a replicable model to incite peer institutions in-state and nationwide.
The nonprofit KIPP Foundation trains and develops outstanding educators to lead KIPP public schools; provides tools, resources and training for excellent teaching and learning; promotes innovation; and facilitates the exchange of insights and ideas across KIPP and other public schools and organizations.
Mission: Together with families and communities, we create joyful, academically excellent schools that prepare students with the skills and confidence to pursue the paths they choose—college, career, and beyond—so they can lead fulfilling lives and build a more just world.
Vision: Every child grows up free to create the future they want for themselves and their communities.
DREAMers are undocumented immigrant youth who came to this country at a young age. For many, it’s the only country they’ve ever known. There are now 1.8 million DREAMers living in the U.S. 98,000 graduate from high school every year–wanting more than anything to get a college education and help their families and communities prosper. DREAMers are highly motivated students who bring a sense of responsibility and accountability to their college educations—but only 5 -10% can afford it. They have NO access to Pell Grants, NO federal education loans, and NO federal work-study. Many faces paying out-of-state tuition in their home states. DREAMers are inherently motivated and resilient students who want to earn a college degree and make a difference in the world. Through a rigorous selection process, we select Scholars who have demonstrated the ability to succeed in college and in life. The following is a glimpse of the average GPA and age of arrival, the percent of our recipients who are first-generation college students, and how many are low-income.
Mission: They believe that DREAMers should have the opportunity to realize the American dream of obtaining a college education and contributing to the prosperity of our nation.