Innovating for Impact: Vedant Peris’s aloeVR and the Future of Educational Wellness

Author
Hua Wang
Published
February 16, 2024

Based in Las Vegas, Vedant Peris’ journey from an educator in a disadvantaged community to a tech entrepreneur encapsulates a story of innovation, empathy, and resilience.

Genesis of aloeVR

The inception of aloeVR was rooted in Peris’s personal experiences with Teach for America and as an educator for six years in underserved schools. Witnessing firsthand the lack of access to culturally inclusive and engaging mental health resources for students, especially in communities at risk, Peris was motivated to find a solution.

“99% of my students were on free or reduced lunch, highlighting the dire need for accessible mental health support,” he shares.  “In the past three years, the likelihood of kids having a mental health problem has increased 50%.”

aloeVR’s Approach

aloeVR’s approach is as innovative as it is thoughtful. It offers 360 degree immersive virtual reality experiences aimed at building mindfulness and resilience among students. These experiences are not only trauma-informed and culturally relevant but are also designed to be non-addictive. Peris emphasizes the importance of offering students an engaging yet safe virtual environment.

The program is set in a virtual Peruvian landscape, where students can engage with different animals and peace guides across various altitudes, from ocean coasts to the Andes Mountains. This unique design is inspired by Peris’s global travels and a desire to create a culturally inclusive product.

Impact

The outcomes of using aloeVR have been promising. Peris noted improvements in students’ calmness, oxygenation levels, and overall mental well-being.  “After as little as five minutes with our games, 85% of students felt more prepared to handle tough situations, 92% felt a growth in wellbeing and 94% had fun,” says Peris.  With pilot programs in over 10 schools, aloeVR has impacted hundreds of children.   Peris is working on making the game more interactive and accessible, especially for students with disabilities.  He is looking to expand to the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada.

Digital Technologies

aloeVR’s platform is built using Unity software and operates on the Meta Quest 2 hardware. This choice reflects the company’s commitment to leveraging technology to enhance educational experiences. “Virtual reality can boost mental health significantly, and it’s essential to use these tools responsibly and ethically,” Peris states.

Policy Recommendations

As a tech CEO serving young students, Peris stresses the need for ethical and responsible technology use, particularly in the context of children’s mental health.

Peris also voices concerns about digital taxes on international data transfers and mandatory cloud service localization, fearing these could complicate and hinder global business operations, especially for small companies like aloeVR.  “A lack of technology choice in cloud providers would really make things difficult for me, especially since I have a small team and limited resources,” says Peris.

Personal Mission

Vedant Peris’s journey with aloeVR is not just a business venture; it’s a personal mission. Having faced bullying and racism in his own childhood, he deeply understands the importance of accessible mental health resources. “This is a personal problem for me to solve,” Peris shares, reflecting his commitment to making a difference in the lives of young people.

In conclusion, Vedant Peris and aloeVR stand at the forefront of educational technology, not just for their innovative use of VR but for their profound commitment to nurturing the mental well-being of students.

aloeVR

Vedant Peris