What is the Braided Pathways Community of Practice?

The Community of Practice is a shared learning opportunity targeted to NYC-based high schools, CUNY institutions and their partner organization to build and enhance efforts to braid work and learning, using the Key Distinguishers as a framework. 

Together, members raise issues schools and programs are wrestling with and/or are preventing work from reaching more students or particular subsets of students; build relationships with and learn from peers in like and differing settings; and receive coaching from HERE to HERE staff, experienced CoP members and other experts in the field. Additionally, they will support the Youth Talent Development Field by:

  • Building a shared language and framework for braiding high-quality work-based learning experiences into traditional academic pathways based on the Key Distinguishers
  • Elevating exemplar practices that can be lifted up across the youth talent development field and drive community-wide change. 
  • Applying small “p” policy to design solutions to shared challenges, advocate for what’s possible, and create as many winners as possible in the youth talent development system.


The goals of the Community of Practice are to:

  1. Help participants develop a deep understanding of the Key Distinguishers, in concept and practice;
  2. Expand best practice and improve the quality of the work;
  3. Identify policy and structural barriers to making best practice common practice; and
  4. Contribute to the five factors that drive systems-change: 
    • An understanding of what should be; 
    • A strengthened, shared vision for youth talent development in the 21st century; 
    • Documentation of what’s possible through strong examples of braided work-based learning; 
    • Strong relationships 
    • Identification of critical gaps and mobilization to advocate for broad change.


The Community of Practice include the following high schools, CUNY institutions, and CBOs whose leadership shares a commitment to student career success of these institutions:

  • Comprehensive Youth Development and Innovation Diploma Plus
  • Emerging Leaders Program + Bronx High Schools
  • Futures and Options and Central Park East HS
  • Health, Education, and Research Occupations High School
  • HE3AT on behalf of Brooklyn South High School Superintendent Michael Prayor
  • Hyde Leadership Charter School
  • James Baldwin School
  • LaGuardia Community College, CUNY
  • NYC Makerspace, in partnership with City College of New York and Duro UAS
  • Reel Works and Hostos Community College
  • South Brooklyn Community High School
  • The City University of New York, College of Staten Island
  • The Door and Broome Street Academy Charter High School
  • The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology & Arete Education
  • The Urban Assembly Charter High School for Computer Science & HYPOTHEkids
  • Bronx Academy for Software Engineering
  • Bronx International
  • Bronx Leadership Academy 2
  • Bronx Recovery Corps
  • Brooklyn STEAM/Brooklyn Navy Yard
  • DreamYard
  • Eagle Academy Foundation
  • Fannie Lou Hamer High School
  • Friends of Wheels
  • Guttman Community College (CUNY)
  • South Bronx Community Charter High School

In Summer 2021, HERE to HERE issued the Braided Pathways Fund RFP to identify practitioners with existing best practices and promising models to braid learning from work into academic pathways in alignment with the Key Distinguishers. 76 applicants applied for funding, and the review committee selected 15 organizations for grants of up to $50,000. The Fund also provided grants of $20,000 to 11 additional organizations who were invited and interested in participating in the Braided Pathways Community of Practice. All 26 grantees of the Fund are participating in the Community of Practice.