My View: How Televerde Foundation rebuilds lives, expands horizons

Previously Published in Phoenix Business Journal

There is no greater joy in my work than seeing the spark of hope ignite in the eyes of the women we serve. At Televerde Foundation, we witness this transformative power every day as we work diligently to empower incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women through essential personal and professional development.

Our latest Impact Report reveals not just the numbers – although the numbers are remarkable – but points out stories of real change and real success. What’s more, the impact of our efforts is not static – it’s expanding, reaching more women across Arizona and now in Indiana and Florida.

In 2023, we maintained a 0% recidivism rate and saw a 96% employment rate among our program graduates. These women secured growth careers that offered a 98% increase in salary compared to their wages before incarceration. This is a testament to the power of providing a second chance and the necessary tools to seize it.

Our approach includes more than job training. We focus on holistic development by helping women develop confidence, achieve promotions, improve their credit scores, resolve debts, attain academic credentials, reunite with their families and secure stable housing and transportation. These milestones are significant not only for the individual but for society at large.

The importance of our work has never been clearer. In Arizona, the trend of incarcerating women for less serious offenses has led to a significant increase in the number of women behind bars, many of whom are mothers. According to research, the majority of mothers in prison were living with their children before incarceration and are often single parents. Consequently, their incarceration can lead to their children being placed in foster care or other government-run care. By empowering these women, we’re not just fixing individual lives but healing families and communities. Fix the woman; fix the family.

Televerde: Expanding its reach

Over the past year, we expanded our reach significantly. We opened new workforce development centers in Indiana, added a new center in Arizona, and brought our reentry programming to Florida, amplifying our ability to serve more women. Additionally, in partnership with Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business, we have expanded our prison education program, further enhancing our educational offerings and support. We also welcomed 12 new employment partners, broadening our network and increasing the diversity of opportunities available to our participants.

Our expansion is crucial. It reflects our belief that geographical boundaries should not confine empowerment. Regardless of her past, every woman deserves the chance to redefine her future in a supportive, nurturing environment. This belief drives us to push further, reach higher, and ensure our programs are accessible to more women eager to turn their lives around.

As we look to the future, our commitment is unwavering. We will continue to support these incredible women, helping them to build careers, mend their families and contribute positively to their communities. Each woman’s journey is unique, but the destination is the same – a life filled with purpose, dignity, and endless possibilities.

Our donors, volunteers, and staff support have been instrumental in our success. Together, we are setting the stage for a legacy of hope and success that will resonate for generations, fostering a world where second chances lead to new beginnings.

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