Earl Martin Phelan
Founder and CEO, George and Veronica Phalen Leadership Academies (PLA)
Earl Martin Phelan
Earl Martin Phelan
Earl Martin Phelan
Founder and CEO, George and Veronica Phalen Leadership Academies (PLA)
"We believe that children need to feel that someone believes they're the moon, the sun, and the stars."

Earl Martin Phelan is Founder and CEO of the Phelan Leadership Academies (PLA) which operates the largest AfricanAmerican K-12 charter school network in the country — serving more than 10,000 scholars tuition-free. Earl Martin Phalen was born into the foster care system. 70 percent of his African-American male peers in foster care would end up in jail, but, as a result of his adoption by George and Veronica Phalen and their passion for education, he graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School.

Having witnessed the transformative power of education, Phalen has dedicated his career to expanding the life opportunities of children through learning and academic engagement.

As a Harvard Law School student, Earl co-founded BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), which grew from a community service project educating 20 children to a national non-profit annually educating 15,000 scholars with a budget of $27.5M.

In 2009, he founded Summer Advantage USA. Recognized by the White House initiative, United We Serve, TIME Magazine and MSNBC, Summer Advantage’s research-based summer programs impact the performance of school districts across the nation.

Based on the high achievement of Summer Advantage scholars, in 2012 the Indiana Charter School Board granted approval to the George and Veronica Phalen Leadership Academies to open 10 PLA sites. Named after Earl’s parents, PLAs provide a high quality, academic and enriching blended learning curriculum to more than 10,000 children.

Earl’s ultimate vision is that PLA scholars master key academic skills, and demonstrate strong character, as exhibited by: honesty, service to others, a superior work ethic, and a strong vision for and belief in their futures. He believes that with the right education, all children can ​fulfill their ​tremendous ​innate potential​.

His new book, “Giving My All”, is available on Amazon.