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VELA Youth Fund, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit charity; dedicated to helping Youth in the United States and in Africa. Please see our story, follow our progress, and share your   

                                   support @                

 We contribute to effective, well managed programs that support Black Youth. VELA also     provides some individual student scholarships and honorariums to deserving students.                       Please contact us  @ for more information. 

2023-24 VELA Youth Fund Honorarium Awards:


VELA Youth Fund is proud to have awarded Five South African Scholars and One U.S. Scholar an "Honorarium Award" to help provide them with tuition assistance during the current 2023-24 School Year...VELA has long operated under the guiding principle of encouraging young people spiritually, culturally, and academically, while at the same time motivating them to support others within their communities. This helps students develop a caring, giving spirit, and see the value and rewards of building strong community.  


         This year, the Lindbeck Family Legacy Honorarium and Scholarship           (S.T.E.M. Advocacy) has been awarded to those South African Scholars that

               demonstrate this "giving back" spirit. The awardees will 

       provide tutoring services and guidance to their younger counterparts             throughout the current school year. From left to right, these Scholars   



                                   TUMELO  MAHLOBOGOANE. 


VELA's U.S. Scholar pictured @ lower far right is Sharron Lee, who received a 

BYD Honorarium Award, and is volunteering her services this year to help further VELA's Black and Brown Youth Development Program within the Coachella Valley of California.






Mpho Bheki

  Mpho lives in South Africa, and received his undergraduate degree from

  the University of North West. Mpho is now completing his post

  graduate studies @ University of South Africa, Unisa; with a

  specialization in Education and an Advance Certificate in Teaching.

  Mpho's background includes primary school teaching, and volunteering      with community groups that provide health services, food, and clothing

  to his community. Consistent with his love of mentoring and community    service, Mr Khumalo started a group called MadMaths to improve math      skills and competence for high school aged students. Admirably, many

  of these same students have gone on to perform well in college, and

  some have moved into successful STEM related careers...In Mpho's          leisure time, he enjoys dancing and serving as coach for a soccer

 team in his community.

~ Our Esteemed Scholars ~

 Mbali Brandy

Innocent Percy



Tumelo Precious

Brandy is a second year student at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and specifies Engineering as her current field of study. In her free time, Brandy enjoys traveling, volunteering, and cooking. When asked how she will use her education to help others

in her community, Brandy says she sees it as it way to actively engage in community service projects that will bring about changes in health care, the environment, and poverty reduction. Brandy also acknowledges "Mentoring" as a way to have a positive influence on younger community members. She points to her own experience  of being mentored by her MadMaths mentor, Mpho Khumalo, who gave her a safe space to express herself and seek answers. This particular mentoring experience has inspired Brandy "to cultivate a greater sense of gratitude in [her] own life and has motivated [her] to give back to others.

Innocent is a first year student at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa; with a major in Faculty Biotechnology and Food Technology, Innocent wants to help others in his community to operate computers because he says computers are critical to getting a good education in today's world. Innocent also helps others by donating clothing to his community, tutoring younger students, and providing educational guidance to those who will listen. Innocent's extra-curricular activities include working out at the gym, reading, mountain climbing, and cow herding. Innocent credits Mpho Bheki Khumalo with having a huge impact on his life. Not only did Mpho provide tutoring and guidance in imortant areas of Innocent's life, but Mpho became a spiritual father to him as well. When Innocent asked Mpho what he could do to repay him for his spiritual guidance and helpful mentoring, Mpho replied with an answer that Innocent is guided by to this day; "I do not need to be repaid, but I need you guys to become something in life, and extend a hand to those who are in need in the future. Let people know that it costs nothing to do good."

Sihle is a second year student at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa where Education is her chosen field of study. Upon graduation, Sihle plans to teach mathematics and physical science to enhance student skills in these areas. When she's not pursuing her student responsibilities, Sihle can be found reading, watching movies, or playing netball. Sihle cites Mpho Khumalo, who she describes as passionate and kind, as a mentor and teacher during her secondary school experience. Mpho turned her struggles into success, and demonstrated to her the value of mentorship in one's community. Although Sihle is new to volunteer service, she has future hopes to host weekend competitions among high school students in her community so that they can view math as enjoyable while further developing their math skills. Sihle's positive attitude is undoubtedly a factor in her current success. Her advice to her peers is to "stay positive every time and never forget your dreams and goals."

Tumelo is a second year student at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, and a member of the MadMaths tutoring group. Tumelo's participation in earlier math tutorials improved her math literacyp at her university. Tmelo plans to work in the legal profession after graduation, and plans to give back to her community by provided pro-bono services to those who are falsely accused. Tumelo enjoys reading, tutoring, singing, dancing, traveling, learning languages, and yoga. Her community involvement  include green volunteering and distributing food parcels and other necessities to her community. Tumelo believes

strongly that "dedication and hard work enables one to get to the next level.

Sharron Lee is a first year student at California Baptist University, in Riverside, CA;  majoring in Music and Ministry. Sharon aspires to become a Youth Pastor and Professional Gospel Singer; using her voice to minister in song; encouraging young people to be active in church, and bringing them closer to God. Sharron's high school experiences include a host of extracurricular activities like track and field, student government, drama club, Black Student Union, Student Site Council, Designated National Anthem Singer for School Events, to name a few. Sharron is no stranger to community service and volunteer work; being actively involved in a student-led nonprofit at her high school that was provided needed supplies to students and families that could not otherwise afford them. Her other interests include singing in her high school choir, providing tutoring for young children during Bible Study, and serving as a Youth Sunday School Teacher at her church. Sharron's community awareness and willingness to serve where needed is consistent with her high regard for volunteerism and desire to build community.

 Sharron Lee


Named in honor of Katherine Mitchell and Roberta Mitchell; two of

the many lovely and talented mothers from Compton, CA... Offered to female students working toward personal and community success.

MITCHELL Family Legacy Honorarium and Scholarship

Katherine Mitchell

Roberta Mitchell

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WOODS Family Legacy Honorarium and Scholarship

Named in honor of Norman Woods and Kenny Woods; two of the many hardworking Family Men and Community Leaders

from Compton, CA...Offered to male students working toward personal and community success.

Norman Woods

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Kenny Woods

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LINDBECK Family Legacy Honorarium and Scholarship

Named to honor an outstanding Entrepreneur and VELA Supporter, Jon Lindbeck,

and his dearly departed wife, Becky Lindbeck; a wonderful Mother and Educator. This award is offered to hardworking students pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related careers.

Jon and Becky Lindbeck

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Stem Workshop Participants/Awardees


 Our South African Math Scholars - 2022

Recipients Of Highest 
Achievement Certificate

 Left to Right:

Brandy Skhosana

Sihle Kgantlampane

Boitumelo Mahlobokwane

        Earlier Award Recipients 

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