New Education Collaboration to Offer $250,000 in Local Micro Grants to El Paso-area Everyday Entrepreneurs

VELA Education Fund and CREEED today announced a $250,000 grant to catalyze education innovation in the El Paso metro area. The program will provide micro grants of up to $10,000 for everyday entrepreneurs such as students, parents, educators, and community leaders who envision new approaches to teaching and learning. The awards will support educational opportunities that meet the unique needs of learners and their families and that spotlight approaches to effective education. 

“We’ve seen extraordinary interest across the country in permissionless innovation, and we’re excited to be able to launch this initiative to support El Paso families and educators who are reimagining education,” said Meredith Olson, VELA’s president.

VELA has awarded more than 1,300 grants since launching publicly in August 2020. The grants total more than $11.5 million and support entrepreneurs in all 50 states and three U.S. territories.

“We welcome the opportunity to help students and families explore education innovations that can help them thrive academically,” said Eddie Rodriguez, Executive Director for CREEED.  “The VELA grants will offer students interesting pedagogical options, and they will help us  better understand the education needs of El Pasoans through the eyes of individual education entrepreneurs in the El Paso area. Given VELA’s track record with these micro grants, we expect to discover some effective success stories and learning applications.”

The $250,000 opportunity is expected to support at least 25 micro grants exclusively for El Paso-area programs. These grants advance CREEED’s goal of increasing the quality of education for all students in El Paso. The grant application will be available at starting in early April. Interested applicants can sign up at to be notified when the application goes live.

Eddie Rodriguez, Executive Director of CREEED and Meredith Olson, President of VELA Education Fund, are available for interviews. If interested in pursuing a story, please contact Lisa Cohen at and Chris Lechuga at



The Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) is a not-for-profit organization focused on increasing the number of high-performing seats in El Paso’s public education system. This is accomplished by investing in initiatives that are creating measurable outcomes to close the achievement gap for El Paso students. CREEED supports organizations, initiatives, and policies that prepare students to succeed in college and in our future workforce. CREEED’s efforts are focused on increasing the quality of education that students receive in El Paso. Our efforts fall into three categories: Increasing Student Attainment; Increasing Teacher Talent & Leadership Development; and Increasing Parent and Community Engagement.​ Each of which contributes to the formation and sustainability of a quality workforce with quality career paths and opportunities.

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. These models include homeschool co-ops, microschools, after-school programs, and much, much more. 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 1,300 grants totaling over $11 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.