VELA awards grants, elevates its grantees, and builds connections

Everyday entrepreneurs have incredible stories to tell.

Through video storytelling, millions of people are able to see the creative, resourceful ways our grantees are making delight-driven learning available to learners across the country.

VELA Selfies – Ignition Community Glass

Launched in 2014, Ignition Community Glass (ICG) is committed to advancing racial equity in the arts by exposing Chicago youth to the dynamic and therapeutic…


VELA Selfies – Threefold Schoolhouse, PA

Threefold Schoolhouse is a place where young people ages 4-14 discover their calling and change the world. The Pennsylvania-based microschool infuses technology with hands-on learning…


VELA Selfies – Memphis Lab School, TN

The Lab School is an innovative microschool located in the heart of Memphis serving ages 3-9 (PreK-4th grade). The school was founded by Coi Morrison,…


Curious about how unconventional learning environments operate?

Our latest research report Open for Business explores the diverse business models that education entrepreneurs are using to launch and sustain their programs.

Learn more about what drives this community of everyday entrepreneurs.

Our Classrooms Anywhere report shares the results of a survey about what Micro grant recipients value, what they need, and how they define success – in their own words.

Visit the report microsite to learn more.

Learn about the hubs of education entrepreneurship that are springing up across the country.

Check out this case study to learn about the growing community of VELA entrepreneurs in South Florida and Wichita, Kansas.

This is a dynamic, connected community.

VELA elevates grantees’ work with national and local media, video storytelling, and building connections amongst grantees. National news outlets have run dozens of stories about our grantees, including the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and PBS.

Students Kickstart Web Design and Graphic Design Careers with CodeSpeak Labs

Being able to use and understand technology is becoming more and more important for success in the modern era, but students rarely engage in computer…

October 17, 2022

Offering Another Way for Educators

From coast to coast, journalists are reporting about a teacher shortage. But when passionate teachers leave public schools, where do they go? Many of them…

September 15, 2022

Giving All Students the Opportunity to Flourish

With traditional school options, many deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing families struggled to find an educational option that allowed their students to learn…

September 8, 2022

Pathways to Success

For all the talk now about pandemic-related mental health challenges for students, it’s worth remembering how things were before COVID-19. In 2019, more than a…

August 30, 2022

Read more about VELA’s work

Classrooms Anywhere

Insights from Community-driven Education Models

In 2021, VELA conducted a survey of hundreds of recent Micro grant recipients to explore their values, their desired impact, and the resources needed to continue providing programs that meet their learners’ and families’ needs.

Learn more about Classrooms Anywhere.

2021 End-of-Year Report

VELA met the moment in 2021, awarding more than 780 grants totaling over $8 million to everyday entrepreneurs in every corner of the country. Overall, 53% of our grantees identified as people of color, 45% identified as entrepreneurs, and 52% led nontraditional learning environments.

This report summarizes VELA’s first full year in operations. As you’ll see, we’re just getting started.