New $750,000 Grant Offering Available to CO, NM, UT, WY Families

August 9, 2022 — VELA Education Fund today announced the launch of a $750,000 fund in partnership with the Daniels Fund to provide support for education entrepreneurs in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

The opportunity is focused on reaching everyday education entrepreneurs — students, parents, teachers, and community leaders — who are envisioning new approaches and meeting the unique needs of learners and families.

Micro grant applications for funding up to $10,000 are available for programs based in any of these four states where the Daniels Fund prioritizes its grantmaking. The awards are intended to support nontraditional educational opportunities, such as homeschool co-ops, microschools, and more.

“We’ve seen strong interest in the American West in permissionless innovation, and we’re excited to be able to launch this initiative to support families and educators who are reimagining education,” said Meredith Olson, VELA’s President.

Overall, VELA has awarded more than 1,600 grants nationwide since launching publicly in August 2020. The grants total more than $16.5 million and support entrepreneurs in all 50 states and 3 U.S. territories.

In Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, VELA has awarded 60 grants to date, totaling $693,400. Recipients include La Luz, a mobile microschool serving middle school-age learners in southwest Denver, and Impact Wyoming, an entrepreneurship program for high school-age students.

“We’re excited to partner with VELA to launch and support innovative ideas for improving educational outcomes for our children,” said Hanna Skandera, President & CEO of the Daniels Fund. “The entrepreneurial spirit built into VELA aligns with the mindset of our founder, Bill Daniels. Families are demanding choice more than ever, and we’re excited to engage in unique solutions and leading edge educational approaches through our support of VELA.”

This specific opportunity is exclusive to programs based in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, which will help fuel growth and accelerate innovation. The regional program hopes to tap into exceptional interest in homeschooling, hybrid learning models, microschools, support for students with disabilities, and more as these communities seek to address COVID learning loss and define high-quality, post-pandemic education.

The grant application is available now at Interested applicants can take the eligibility quiz if they are unsure if they qualify to apply for a micro grant.

Micro grant recipients in the four-state region – as well as Meredith Olson, VELA’s President, and Hanna Skandera, president of the Daniels Fund – are available for interviews. If interested in pursuing a story, please contact Lisa Cohen at


About the Daniels Fund

The Daniels Fund, established by cable television pioneer Bill Daniels, is a private charitable foundation dedicated to making life better for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming through its grants program, scholarship program, and ethics initiative. Visit to learn more.

About VELA Education Fund

VELA is a national nonprofit fund that launched in 2020. VELA invests in everyday entrepreneurs – students, parents, educators, and community leaders – who are envisioning new approaches that meet learners’ and families’ needs. VELA does not dictate solutions to its grantees. Instead, VELA trusts grantees to identify what their communities need and how they can best meet those needs. To date, VELA has awarded more than 1,600 grants totaling over $16.5 million to support non-traditional education models. Recipients reside in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Visit to learn more.