The vision of Defy Colorado has always been to build a redemptive community in which every life is honored, hope is restored, and economic freedom is a right, not a privilege. With your support, we have provided entrepreneurial education inside prisons, supported the re-entry process of returning citizens, and built community among the currently and formerly incarcerated and the business world.
But in the wake of COVID-19, we are met with a rapidly changing world that begs new ways of solving for change. And we’re asking for your support.
On March 25th, in an effort to limit the spread and impact of COVID-19 inside Colorado correctional facilities, Governor Jared Polis issued an executive order leading to the early release of select incarcerated individuals, potentially including many of our Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs). In a year when we expected to offer re-entry programming to just a few EITs beginning in June, we are now preparing for the release of up to 50 by mid-May, and in a rapidly changing society and burdened economy, no less.
Re-entry is difficult. Re-entry amid a global pandemic can feel insurmountable.
Together, we can create a lifeline for those released. With your contribution, we will make sure every released EIT has the critical tools needed to thrive in our changing economic climate, including a Chromebook, cell phone, and access to expanded virtual programming and support. These programs will have the full-time support of Defy staff. These tools and services ensure we reach every EIT with one-on-one mentoring as well as critical programming to help them navigate finding jobs, healthcare, transportation, and technology.
It is also more important now than ever that our currently incarcerated EITs remain connected to our Defy community. We are hard at work building out our digital education programs that have just been approved for broadcast with all Colorado Department Of Corrections facilities helping us to reach 14,584 potential EITs!
We are humbled and appreciative that we’ve received matching funds up to $60,000! That means that every dollar that you give will be doubled by our matching donors up to $120,000. We’d like to express our sincere thanks to: Anchor Point Foundation (Brad Feld and Amy Batchelor), Dan & Cindy Caruso, The Dinwiddie Family Foundation, Jennifer & Jason Mendelson and Alex & Carolyn Paul. We would also like to express our gratitude to Google and Techstars for contributing directly to the purchase of Chromebooks and smartphones for our releasing EITs.
Let’s help our EITs while supporting Governor Polis’ decision. This is our opportunity to show that, with proper education and support, we can build a better and more equitable correctional system for all.
Everyone deserves connection.
Everyone deserves people who believe in them.
We thank you for being those people now more than ever.
New Pre- & Post-Release Services and Tools
- Samsung Chromebook
- Pre-paid Samsung Galaxy smartphone with 3 months of talk, text, and data
- Visa Gift Card to help with basic essentials
- Laptop backpack
- Reusable face maks
Virtual Community Expansion:
- Monthly community zoom meeting
- Weekly/Biweekly workshops
- One-on-One Mentorships
- Individualized case management
- Employment services
- Community partner collaboration
Virtual Reentry Workshops:
- Technology 101
- Email Basics
- Video Conferencing
- Navigating reentry resources
- Overcoming Reentry hardships
- Technology 102
- Email etiquette
- Google suites
- Resume Creation
- Interviewing 101
- Addressing Your Background
- Leveraging LinkedIn
- Finding Employment
- Using Job Search Engines
- Online application process