The ed-tech company APDS has been awarded for its work addressing educational barriers faced by incarcerated individuals.
New York, NY – Wednesday, July 12, 2023 – On July 13th, tomorrow, APDS will receive the D2L 2023 Excellence Award at the 2023 Fusion Conference in Anaheim. D2L, a global learning technology company, each year honors innovative educators, trainers, and leaders in employee engagement who have provided exceptional learning experiences using D2L Brightspace.
APDS, an education technology and public-benefit corporation providing free education and career readiness courses to incarcerated individuals statewide, has won the Excellence Award for their courses “The Master Plan” and “Liberation Education.” These courses are part of the “Inside Knowledge” program on D2L Brightspace. They were designed to help educate and motivate justice-impacted learners while equipping them with the skills to pursue successful careers. The courses were co-created by APDS and formerly incarcerated teachers Chris Wilson and Kimonti Carter, who are advocates for the justice-impacted community. Since launching “The Master Plan”, APDS has helped over 20,000 unique learners unlock their potential and achieve their personal and career goals through innovative and accessible learning solutions.
APDS tablets enhance in-person and support the delivery of programming for all. On average, 550 learners a week have accessed the course and students on average spend 33% more time accessing education (compared to other tablet education providers). APDS does not look to replace in-person learning but instead uses its technology to help address limitations like access due to class size restrictions.
Education is a powerful tool to end systemic injustice and break the cycle of incarceration. Kimonti Carter shared, “Education freed me – literally.” Kimonti was released in the fall of 2022 from his life sentence without the possibility of parole. His freedom came partly because of his leadership and innovation in creating and participating in “T.E.A.C.H.” (Taking Education and Creating History), a prisoner self-education program.
Even when incarcerated students are fortunate enough to receive educational services, the curriculum may have little bearing on their lives; teachers struggle to motivate and connect with their students personally. ”Students are not met where they’re at,” Chris Wilson, Educational Consultant and Director of Engagement at APDS explained. “All of us learn better when we are motivated by excellent teachers who’ve experienced similar challenges as we have – who’ve been there and gotten where we’re at.”
“We are thrilled to be recognized for our work in creating innovative educational programs that help justice-impacted learners thrive and break the cycle of incarceration,” stated APDS’ Co-Founder Arti Finn.”This award is a testament to our team and partners’ hard work and dedication, including Kimonti and Chris, who co-created these courses.”
APDS courses are designed to guide learners through inner reflection and goal setting and help prepare them for career pathways. D2L CEO John Baker expressed his pride in the innovative leaders using D2L Brightspace to reach and engage more learners. The awards will be celebrated at the Fusion conference in July and throughout the year.
Additionally, APDS has launched a 2nd Chances @ Work campaign targeting employers and inviting them to learn the importance of equitable access to employment opportunities. This campaign asks employers and individuals to take a pledge to build more inclusive workplaces and reduce recidivism by offering justice-impacted individuals living wage jobs. Connecting formerly incarcerated individuals with employment is critical to reducing recidivism and education is one of the approaches APDS’ takes to provide these folks with living wage jobs.
Founded in 2014, APDS’ mission is to prepare every justice-impacted individual for a living wage career. Through the career readiness platform, their proprietary “Whole Learner Framework™” delivers education technology assessments designed by expert educators to transform learners for renewed career-readiness and reskilled education and training on a customized pathway; to earn living wage employment and reenter society to rebuild their lives.
APDS is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) and certified B-Corporation, based on a philosophy that never charges incarcerated individuals or their families for its technology or services. APDS products and services are deployed across 18 states, including the District of Columbia — in hundreds of facilities across the United States, servicing thousands of justice-impacted individuals. To learn more, go to APDS.works.
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D2L EXCELLENCE AWARD
The Excellence Awards honor the innovation, progress, and betterment of learning in the communities we serve. Each year, D2L recognizes up to five inspiring award winners who demonstrate these values. Learn more here: https://www.d2l.com/excellence-awards/.
ABOUT CHRIS WILSON
Chris Wilson was born and raised in Washington, D.C., under extremely difficult circumstances. Poverty, drug addiction, and gun violence were the everyday norm in his community. At 17, he was charged with a crime, convicted, and sentenced to natural life in prison. During times of isolation, he decided not only to turn his life around but to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty-stricken communities similar to his childhood surroundings. “Many years ago, I committed to self-improvement and helping others. I sat in a dark cell and wrote up what I now call my Master Plan. A plan to build a business empire and help others.”
ABOUT KIMONTI CARTER
Kimonti Carter is the founder of T.E.A.C.H. (Taking Education and Creating History), a prisoner-led higher-education program now at three Washington prisons, a leader in the Black Prisoners’ Caucus, and the subject of the award-winning documentary film Since I Been Down. At the age of 18, Kimonti was sentenced to life without parole and spent 25 years and 3 months of his life in federal prison. Kimonti has transformed himself into a leader, mentor, and teacher and dedicated his life to preventing kids and young adults like he once was from making the same mistakes he made.