Photo credit: Prenda Schools

About VELA Education Fund

We see opportunities to dramatically improve access to education, in need of early stage support. We want to provide that support to innovators early, as these stages are under-supported, under-resourced, and instrumental.

Permissionless innovations inspire us. We see new and exciting learning models and experiences taking shape outside of and without the permission of the current K12 system.

There is potential for transformation. There is so much possibility in these out-of-system efforts: parents as educators, youth as educators, the pursuit of passion, the development of agency, and much more.

The word” vela” is found in many sailing cultures, from the Portuguese to the Malay. In Spanish,” vela” means a light, a sail. For us, it signifies adventure and exploration. That’s what VELA Education Fund does, supports those chartering a new course to serve young people best.

VELA Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization – the product of national leaders, hard-charging innovators and educators, and resourceful families coming together, exploring new and unique opportunities for every learner. Diverse views and perspectives joined together in search of something more for our nation’s children.

VELA Education Fund is generously supported by the Walton Family Foundation and the Charles Koch Institute.



Derek Johnson
Executive Director, Charles Koch Institute

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

Meredith Olson
Vice President of K-12 Initiatives, Stand Together

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


Meet the Moment Program