Bravo Programs of America Inc

Education is their way out.

Harrison Township, MI   |  www.bravoprograms.org

Mission

Bravo Programs of America awards scholarships and book stipends to young adults, aged 18 through 24, who are or were in the Foster Care System and are enrolled in an accredited post-secondary education program.

Ruling year info

2014

President/Founder

Ms Ellen M Lysik

Main address

34432 Jefferson A4

Harrison Township, MI 48045 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-2088518

NTEE code info

Foster Care (P32)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Education leads to higher income potential and improved well-being. Yet it is well documented that foster youth are at increased risk of poor educational outcomes. So instead of looking forward to better job prospects and employability, foster youth are more likely than their non-foster peers to become involved with the criminal justice system, have or father a child, or experience homeless – all by age 21. They are much less likely to graduate from college – only 3% do. It wasn’t their misstep or bad decision that put foster kids in this position, yet they are the ones paying the price. Bravo Programs of America (BPA) views post-secondary education as an essential part of a foster youth’s path to success, and we aim to support them in reaching their educational goals.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Scholarship Program

Bravo Programs of America's primary focus is awarding scholarships/Books etc. to aged out foster youth. We are confident without question that every semester we provide a student with educational skills we bring them closer to their career goals without the burden of student debt.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Students

The primary goal of our mentor program is to help ensure our students get the support they need to stay in school and graduate. We will do this by providing one-on-one support to our students, giving them access to subject matter experts to help them solve problems, and offering educational workshops to help build social and professional skills and establish a sense of community.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Students

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

How many Bravo Scholarships have been awarded?

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Students, Young adults

Related Program

Scholarship Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Total number of scholarships for tuition and books awarded in the year

How many Bravo scholarships went to previous scholarship recipients?

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Students, Young adults

Related Program

Scholarship Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Bylaws were changed in 2016 to allow repeat scholarship awards, increasing the odds that Bravo students cross the graduation finish line.

% of scholarships awarded to students enrolled in a STEM program

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Students, Young adults

Related Program

Scholarship Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

What is the average value of the scholarship award given to an applicant ($)?

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Students, Young adults

Related Program

Scholarship Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

BPA was founded to help former foster care youth, aged 18 through 24, achieve their post-secondary education goals.

Our primary strategy is to award scholarships for tuition and books to eligible students who are enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution and have good academic standing.

Secondarily, we run a mentor program to help ensure our students get the support they need to stay in school and graduate.

We work closely with social workers at universities, community colleges, and other foster care related nonprofits for student referrals.

We rely on fundraisers, solicitations, grants, and donations from companies and private individuals to fund our scholarship program.

We solicit volunteers from the community to staff our mentor program.

Our Impact:

Our first scholarships were awarded for the Fall semester of 2014. Through the Winter semester 2022 we have awarded almost $210k in scholarships to 55 students. Nationally, about 3% of foster care alumni earn a 4 year degree by age 26. We benchmark our performance against this metric. The following summarizes where Bravo scholarship recipients stand in reaching their educational goal as of the end of December 2021:
- 4 (4%) have earned their Associate’s Degree or Technical Certification.
- 26 (47%) have earned their Bachelor’s Degree.
- 16 (29%) are on track to attain their Bachelor’s Degree by age 26.
- 9 (16%) have dropped out of school or did not graduate by age 26.

Our Return on Investment:

We are a fiscally responsible, all volunteer organization with very low overhead. We have a detailed application process that we believe is very effective in highlighting the most deserving students. We want to make every dollar we receive count. The following summarizes our financial performance as of the end of December 2021:
- 97% of funds received go directly to student education
- 60% of funds received have been invested in students who have reached their educational goals by age 26
- 29% of funds received have been invested in students who are track to graduate by age 26
- 14% of funds have gone to students who are no longer in school or did not graduate by age 26

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve college students who have experienced foster care

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We implemented improved metrics to demonstrate to donors the impact their donations have on our scholarship recipients as well as show return on investment.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Bravo Programs of America Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Bravo Programs of America Inc

Board of directors
as of 1/5/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms Ellen Lysik

President/Founder

Term: 2014 -

Gerald Filipek

Filipek & Co. LLC

Julie Miller

Career Strong Solutions LLC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/05/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/05/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.