Sagamore Institute is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization–or think tank. We borrow our name from the Algonquin word sagamore, which refers to a trusted individual within the tribe to whom the chief would look for wisdom and advice on issues of public concern. It is thus our mission to research, analyze and respond to difficult issues, to serve as a meeting place for disparate groups, and to offer wise counsel for a world in progress. Our expert network of fellows provides independent and innovative research and analysis to public and private sector leaders, policy makers, practitioners, and the public.
Sagamore is headquartered in the historic Levey mansion in Indianapolis' near-north neighborhood.
Laurel Vanden Berg has been the Director of the Scholarships for Education Choice program at Sagamore since 2014. Her background includes 10 years of teaching high school and helping schools with improvement processes and accreditation. She also provides fundraising training for nonprofits through Sagamore’s partner Mission Increase. Laurel has her BA in History and her master’s degree in Education.
Mary Jo Hein has been helping to administer Scholarships for Education Choice since 2012. Her work experience includes more than a decade in state government, assisting churches with stewardship education, and tutoring at the high school level. Mary Jo has a bachelor's degree in the social sciences and has done graduate work in Public Administration.
The Sagamore Institute leadership, operations team and accounting office all play integral roles in advancing the Scholarships for Education Choice program.