Yass Prize finalist receives prestigious national award for outstanding educational innovation.
Dec. 14, 2023 (NEW YORK, NY) – Yesterday, Odyssey was named a finalist for the coveted Yass Prize and won a $500,000 STOP Award for Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding and Permissionless education at the third annual Yass Prize Celebration and Gala in Midtown Manhattan.
The Yass Prize, known as the Pulitzer of Education Innovation, seeks, rewards and celebrates innovative organizations trying to break the cycle of ineffective education that is failing students across the country. As one of nine finalists selected from a pool of 33 semifinalists, Odyssey received its award to scale its platform nationwide and continue to build out and refine the platform.
“We know giving education innovators the opportunity to work outside the system that is suffocating so many of them is the most effective way to transform the lives of America’s students,” said Janine Yass, who co-founded the Yass Prize with her husband Jeff in 2021.
When the Covid crisis revealed and magnified the vast inequities that surround a majority of our students, they pivoted in their education investments to speed up the pace of improving student lives.
“The kind of disruption that the awardees are causing in American education is remarkable,” said Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform whose organization manages the Yass Prize effort. “Odyssey is among the very best of American endeavors in education.”
This year’s grand prize winner with the $1 million Yass Prize was Valiant Cross Academy from Montgomery, Alabama. Valiant Cross, Odyssey, and the rest of the finalists were selected for most exemplifying each of the Yass Prize’s four core STOP principles: Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding, and Permissionless education.
“We could not be more excited to be named a Yass Prize finalist, which will allow us to scale our platform to more states,” said Joseph Connor, CEO, Odyssey. “Thank you to Janine and Jeff Yass for selecting us as a finalist. We cannot wait to put this funding into action.”
The remaining 23 Yass Prize semifinalists each received a $200,000 STOP Award. Additionally, Florida-based Indi-Ed won the $100,000 Parents Choice Award, a new initiative determined through the 65,000 votes cast from parents and others closest to the students of each semifinalist.
“This year’s awardees exemplify the best of American endeavors in education,” said Jeanne Allen, who heads up the Yass Prize and related initiatives. “We are proud to welcome Odyssey into the Yass Prize network, which provides growth, coaching, mentorship, and training opportunities to support our members’ continued growth.”
For more information on Odyssey and the other Yass Prize awardees, visit: YassPrize.org/Awardees