Community Member

New Image Life Skills Academy Inc

Cleveland, Ohio

New Image Life Skills Academy, founded in 2002 in Cleveland, Ohio’s University Circle neighborhood, is determined to bring healthy choices and a sustainable lifestyle to those who might not otherwise have opportunities within their reach. This is especially true for many urban communities where proximity to fresh food and open spaces isn’t always available and health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension are plentiful. The organization focuses on the African American community, which has the highest morbidity rates for these health issues. Boasting a community garden called Vel’s Purple Oasis, and an educational center, The Don Scott House, named for her late husband, the organization promotes healthy lifestyles through growing and eating high-quality produce and teaching cooking skills. The organization’s purpose is to bring together community members to promote health and wealth through sustainable agriculture and cooking education. 

On a one-acre lot across the street from their old club, Don and Vel started Vel’s Purple Oasis.

New Image Life Skills Academy is a non-profit educational services organization founded by Don and Vel Scott in 2002, and currently headed by Avis D. Scott. It has been responsible for helping Vel Scott’s Healthy You program establish the ‘Don Scott House’, an open community space where residents can take cooking classes, learn how to make healthy meals sourced from their gardens as well as from the local food banks, and just relax and feel a sense of belonging. The House is envisioned as a welcoming space where people can come “Just as they are”. The house honors Don’s vision, who believed that we can never actually own a piece of earth, and must instead make it our goal to share what we have with others. At present, the house is seeking funding to complete its renovation.

For more information:

Vel Scott is on a Mission to Teach Healthy Eating and Cooking to Clevelanders –, December 2019

From Entertainment Queen to Grandmother of the Garden, This Woman is Getting Clevelanders to Eat Healthier – News 5 Cleveland, November 2021

How A Woman In Her 70s Made Healthy Eating Education Her Mission – HuffPost, January 2016

To Volunteer: Vel Scott’s Purple Oasis Cooperative

A2 Staff

A2 Staff

This profile was compiled by a dedicated team of staff members who conducted interviews and gathered information from various outlets, including news articles, social media, and other sources.


Vel Scott


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Climate Impacts

Air Pollution, Erosion-Subsidence, Flooding, Heat, Water Contamination


Affordable Housing, Art Activism, Community Farm/Gardens, Community Land Trusts/Land Conservation, Community Science, Direct Relief and Aid, Fighting Industrial Contamination, Green Infrastructure, Halting Bad Development, Nature-Based Solutions, Policy Reform, Renewable Energy

501c3 Tax Deductible


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