By Natalie Meier
Brioxy, an interactive planning application aimed at meeting the needs of young people of color, is coming soon to a web browser near you.
Brioxy founder B. Cole and her team of techies built the online tool to help their target audience create a road map to their dreams, complete with a to-do list that will allow users to manage their goals in an efficient, concrete fashion. Brioxy is currently in its beta-test phase online and is being piloted with accompanying success-oriented curriculum at Mills College in Oakland and at UC Merced.
In 2013, UC Merced reported 43.9 percent of its student body was comprised of Hispanic students while 50 percent of the undergraduate population attending Mills are currently identified as students of color. Working with a private liberal arts institution and a large public university is important to Brioxy’s demographic in order to support students from multiple communities, Cole said.
“Even though rates of acceptance for students of color to colleges across the country are rising, we’re still seeing a dramatic lag for graduating,” Cole said. “Brioxy hopes to fill the gap where universities can get students through the door but not out.”
Mills College’s Summer Academic Workshop program for students of color is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and the program partnered with Brioxy this year in order to propel its first-generation students forward as well-equipped leaders, said director Sabrina Kwist.
“Our annual retreat with Brioxy’s founder, B. Cole, has helped us to build a space that truly affirms the dreams of our first generation SAW students, while providing this innovative technology for applied action,” Kwist said.
A Mills alum herself, Cole graduated in the class of 2000 as a triple threat: a pre-law major with two minors in ethnic studies and American Sign Language. After graduating, she traveled to the White House, where she served as Director of Leadership and Programming at the Harry S. Truman Foundation, an endowed fund that supports young leaders. It was there with those students, Cole said, that the seed for Brioxy was planted in her head.
“There’s a set of rules for how to navigate through the world, and most of us aren’t even born into families or have someone in our network who knows how to get through it,” Cole said. “I’ve done on-the-ground training and coaching and mentoring young people, but I needed a much bigger platform to do this.”
Building diverse teams to create tools like Brioxy is critical to the future of the coming generations, Cole said. Naturally, Brioxy’s team reflects the diversity it seeks to serve: primarily leaders of color and LGBTQ “creative geniuses.”
Brioxy’s full beta version, a one-time fee of $38, is slated for launch this fall. Within the next few months, pre-beta users can expect to see interviews with successful leaders of color, a series of life hacks and continued updates to the Brioxy’s most powerful component, the to-do list.
Serving young people with bold visions of where they want to be, Brioxy’s principal objective is to make it easier for users to figure out how to get there by making the stepping stones clear.
“We are all about accelerating success however they define it and helping them to actualize their dreams,” Cole said.