Durbin Meets With Braven And First-Generation College Students

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with Aimée Eubanks-Davis, CEO of Braven, an organization that works with colleges and employers to help underserved students complete college and obtain quality jobs by offering students a class on workforce readiness skills, support in securing paid internships, and holding networking, mentoring, and job skill sessions.  First-generation college students from Chicago State University, National Louis University, and Northern Illinois University also joined the meeting and shared their firsthand experiences.

During the meeting, Durbin and Ms. Eubanks-Davis spoke about barriers to higher education for first-generation students, including securing adequate financial aid through the Pell Grant.  Durbin has pushed for doubling the maximum Pell Grant, which currently sits at $7,395 per award year.  They also discussed the importance of Postsecondary Student Success Grants, competitive grants to colleges that aim to enhance student retention and completion.

“The best investment we can make is to invest in the next generation.  It is essential that we address the real barriers that prevent students from attending institutes of higher education,” said Durbin.  “I had a great conversation with the leaders of Braven and some of the first-generation college students the organization serves about how we can offer more resources to support those hoping to attend college and beyond.”

Photos of the meeting are available here.