Jeremy Vaa

Jeremy Vaa is an experienced educator and founder of Green Light Student Travel. His experience inside and outside of the classroom has helped him aid students in learning more about the world around them. 

Before starting Green Light Student Travel in 2006 Vaa worked as a social studies teacher at La Colina Junior High School and San Marcos High School. While teaching he was known for his enthusiasm and passion for developing young learners. Jeremy saw the importance of preparing his students for post-high school course work. This drove him to develop a high-level curriculum that focused on college preparatory level skills. This innovation and belief in the power of education is what lead the educator and entrepreneur to founding Green Light Student Travel. Jeremy Vaa’s entire career centers around the value and power of education. He believes that education provides peop;e with an opportunity to build a better tomorrow for themselves and others. 

In 2006, Vaa took the power of education one step further by founding GLST. Even though there are a vast amount of benefits to growing “textbook-smarts,” Vaa believes that educators need to provide students with hands-on experiences that help them explore the surrounding world. Green Light Student Travel uses their motto, “Explore. Learn. Inspire. Grow.” to help students gain the hands-on experience they need. Jeremy Vaa and his team at GLST have a variety of trips for students interested in everything ranging from social studies to architecture to dance and performing arts.

As CEO of Green Light Student Travel, Jeremy is involved in many different areas of the organization such as business development, professional development, and working with teachers to plan trips. Vaa is also personally involved with many of the trips offered. He personally leads trips to ensure that the quality of the experiences are to the Green Light Student Travel standard. 

Vaa attended the University of California at Davis where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. From there he went on to attain his Masters of Education and Social Studies Teaching Credential from University of California at Santa Barbara. He is currently taking classes in pursuit of a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Illinois. 

Connect with Jeremy Vaa on Twitter and learn more about Green Light Student Travel here

What’s the most important thing we should know about you?

Jeremy Vaa: I’m a former social studies teacher and I’m passionate about experiential  education. Over a decade ago, I started Green Light Student Travel to partner with 

Name the most impactful lesson you learned from failure.

Jeremy Vaa: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein 

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Jeremy Vaa: Having raving fans who love our trips and working with passionate teachers! 

What did you waste the most time on when you were first starting your career?

Jeremy Vaa: Waiting for customers to come to me. 

Name a tool you use for work that you can’t live without.

Jeremy Vaa: Reading great books and having impactful mentors lays a foundation for your future success. Digital tools – Google,, hubspot, to name a few.

What is your favorite hobby and why?

Jeremy Vaa: Cycling new roads. It clears the mind and I love to challenge myself. 

What excited you the most about your industry right now?

Jeremy Vaa: Blending the digital world with the analog world and having students experience where history really happened. 

What concerns you most about your industry right now?

Jeremy Vaa: Goods and services have been commoditized and that quality can be overlooked by many. It’s not necessarily a concern that is unique to the student travel industry, it’s a concern for most industries. Maybe this has been happening forever and I’m being naive. 

What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?

Jeremy Vaa: Walking away from a job that I loved (teaching social studies) to pursue building an amazing student travel company. 

Name one small habit that positively impacts your productivity.

Jeremy Vaa: Daily exercise. 

What tips do you have for getting a seat at the table?

Jeremy Vaa: Do good work and good things will happen.

What book has made the biggest impact on your life?

Jeremy Vaa: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Do you value intelligence or common sense more? Why?

Jeremy Vaa: Common sense slightly more than intelligence, only because I believe that common sense is more aligned with a growth mindset.

What would you consider to be the perfect day?

Jeremy Vaa: Cycling or surfing early in the morning and relaxing with my family for the rest of the day.