Learning Happens Everywhere

Launched in August 2020, VELA Education Fund is a national, nonprofit fund dedicated to accelerating education innovation and opportunity for every learner.

A few years ago, a small group of education philanthropists started discussing traditional education. They perceived it as static, with children learning through antiquated structures. Children’s educational outcomes had more to do with their families’ socioeconomic status than their actual ability. And demands from the government and the private sector were not being met by the traditional educational system, which was proving to be an ocean liner, slow to change course.

What if, the group considered, they invested not in the ocean liners but in a fleet of smaller, people-powered crafts that could move faster and explore less chartered waters? After all, a small but steadily increasing number of families have been pursuing such a course — through homeschooling, microschooling, learning pods, and other alternative approaches — for years. What if more people explored more ideas more quickly?

Enter the VELA Education Fund.

VELA invests in family-focused education innovations that can meet children’s academic and social-emotional needs. We listen, learn, and adapt, fueled by a belief that every child has a unique gift, learning happens everywhere, and human-centered, community-based solutions will unlock the future of education.


Meredith Olson, President

Beth Seling, Chief of Operations


Derek Johnson, Senior Vice President, Stand Together

Caleb Offley, Senior Advisor K-12 Education Program, Walton Family Foundation

Meredith Olson, President, VELA Education Fund

Marc Sternberg, K-12 Education Program Director, Walton Family Foundation