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The Evolution of Education

  • Degree program: Middle grades education

  • Current position: Founder and CEO, Mrs. Evelyn International Academy and Evelyn Educates Tutoring

  • Lives in: Athens, Georgia

 

As an eighth-grade teacher, Corley saw the need for one-on-one tutoring for her students, some of whom were reading at second- or third-grade reading levels.

For Evelyn Corley (B.S. Ed. ’05), online platforms like Zoom and YouTube help her connect with students, families, and other educators around the world. When she graduated from the Mary Frances Early College of Education in 2005, another online platform had just hit the scene—Gmail. 

“The University of Georgia paves the way for things that are new, and at that time, when I was graduating, it was new to have Gmail email,” Corley says. “It was new to really incorporate the technology and the teaching together, and I felt like when I started teaching in 2005, I was ahead of the game.” 

In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, her business grew 500%. Her academy, Mrs. Evelyn International Academy, and tutoring company, Evelyn Educates Tutoring, welcome students and educators both across the globe and in Corley’s home state of Georgia, made possible with technology and adapting to new trends in education.

“We have students in Europe, students in Africa, students in Mexico, we have students all over,” Corley says. “Something new that's happening in 2022 is that families are ‘world schooling,’ where they are traveling with their families full-time and finding multiple locations to live throughout the year. We provide that consistent, adult teacher-mentor support system for them as they travel which is becoming increasingly common.”

“I believe that being truly seen, truly heard, truly supported, and truly valued is so important. Even if there are two students in the class or three students in the class, it's taking away from that comfort and that ability to ask any question and just start with where you are in your learning and to grow and build from there, which is what we do in both the academy and the tutoring company—we start with where you are as a learner, and we build from there,” Corley says.

With more than a decade of experience teaching in public schools along with tutoring on the side, she took the plunge and founded her business in 2018.

“It started super simple,” Corley says. “I make funny Facebook videos and quirky advertisements, and I started tutoring my high school friends’ kids—those were my very first clients—and then they told their friends and they told their friends and through the power of Facebook and the power of the mom, we became an international hit.”

Now, the business employs more than 25 educators, serves 12 students in the academy, and serves 65 students through tutoring.

The academy provides the sole academic experience for students, along with homeschooling support in individual content areas, while the tutoring service provides additional support to students enrolled in public or private schools.

When the pandemic hit, the business’s setup allowed for more students and educators to come aboard.

“What made us so unique is that we were already on the map,” Corley says. “We already had the testimonials, the support system, and the families believing in us, and so we received consistent support during these past two years of uncertainty.”

Looking ahead, next steps for her business include becoming an accredited high school—the academy currently offers homeschooling for high school diplomas—to open more doors for students after graduation.

On an individual level, Corley also will begin a new journey as part of UGA’s inaugural class of Leadership Dawgs, a one-year program where leaders in the community develop their leadership skills and partner with a nonprofit in the Athens or Atlanta area to provide support.

She said her time at UGA and the support she received helped make these opportunities possible.

“Taking that leap of faith and entering the University of Georgia as an awkward, nervous 18-year-old freshman changed my life. It gave me the foundation for believing in myself and knowing that anything was possible,” Corley says. “It gave me the opportunity to later get my master's degree from LaGrange College and to be a Leadership Dawg, but I just want to say that the kindness, compassion, and level of education I received is the foundation of who I am and why I'm successful today.”

—Anika Chaturvedi

For Evelyn Corley (B.S. Ed. ’05), online platforms like Zoom and YouTube help her connect with students, families, and other educators around the world. When she graduated from the Mary Frances Early College of Education in 2005, another online platform had just hit the scene—Gmail. 

“The University of Georgia paves the way for things that are new, and at that time, when I was graduating, it was new to have Gmail email,” Corley says. “It was new to really incorporate the technology and the teaching together, and I felt like when I started teaching in 2005, I was ahead of the game.” 

In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, her business grew 500%. Her academy, Mrs. Evelyn International Academy, and tutoring company, Evelyn Educates Tutoring, welcome students and educators both across the globe and in Corley’s home state of Georgia, made possible with technology and adapting to new trends in education.

“We have students in Europe, students in Africa, students in Mexico, we have students all over,” Corley says. “Something new that's happening in 2022 is that families are ‘world schooling,’ where they are traveling with their families full-time and finding multiple locations to live throughout the year. We provide that consistent, adult teacher-mentor support system for them as they travel which is becoming increasingly common.”