Edovo: Education Over Obstacles
We are so happy to be highlighting one of our most recent Program-Related Investments (PRIs): Edovo!
Edovo is a Chicago-based organization whose mission is to help everyone connected to incarceration build better lives. Edovo provides tablets designed specifically for corrections that deliver educational programming and communication tools. Edovo’s platform is centered around educational attainment and self-improvement, with curricula like GED preparation and for credit, post-secondary courses.
In addition, Edovo offers preparation for nationally recognized job certifications and social-emotional learning tools like anger management and substance abuse content. Edovo is maximizing the time spent inside jail and prison and using it as a chance to promote rehabilitation and re-entry preparation.
Each year, 12 million Americans cycle through jail and $74 billion is spent on incarceration. And yet, our country has a 50% recidivism rate. This means that 50% of those incarcerated individuals will end up back in jail again. It is this far-reaching problem that Edovo seeks to address with a simple solution: increased access to education and communication. They found that the 50% recidivism rate could be decreased exponentially, 43% to be exact, if education was made available in prisons.
Each year, 12 million Americans cycle through jail and $74 billion is spent on incarceration.
Correctional facilities typically lack the resources and funding necessary to provide education and programming to a large portion of the incarcerated population. This can result in a sense of idleness that leads to increased incidences of violence and a failure to adequately prepare for release. In order to combat this, Edovo provides tablets that are equipped with ruggedized casing and a secure network that prevents any access to the public facing internet. Each learner has a personal account and can begin or continue their coursework on any device.
In addition to education, the tablets also have cognitive-behavioral therapy, vocational and life skills training. Edovo utilizes a unique system in which entertainment rewards are made available as an incentive for continued engagement and achieving educational goals. The educational tools on each tablet are self-directed and goal-driven, allowing the learners to go at their own pace and pursue what interests them on a highly personalized level.
Edovo’s success can be seen in their rapidly growing pace and accolades received. They have already scaled to almost half the 50 states, working with facilities ranging from small county jails to statewide Departments of Correction. Edovo has also seen significant success with incarcerated users, seeing almost 80% weekly engagement from individuals with access to the platform. In 2016, Edovo was honored with the Global EdTech Startup Award, which is the world’s largest EdTech startup competition. Edovo also has achieved a GIIRS Platinum Rating, which leads to enormous recognition within the community and has drawn in attention for their amazing accomplishments.
The IDP Foundation provided a PRI (Program Related Investment) in the form of a high risk equity position to Edovo as a way to align with our mission by supporting what we believe to be an innovative, scalable and sustainable solution to an education problem. It is exhilarating to be investors of an organization that has taken on an issue that is often ignored and even more exciting is seeing them succeed in so many ways while creating systemic change and long lasting impact. We are largely anticipating Edovo’s continued growth in the future!