1912 - 2015
The Akhtar Cohansedgh Memorial Scholarship
Akhtar Cohansedgh was Born in Tehran, Iran in 1912. She was among the first group of women in Iran to graduate from an all girls school, during a time when going to school was a rarity for women in the country. She later become an educator herself, inspiring many other girls to pursue their studies. During her lifetime, she defied societal norms by getting her diploma, and resisting expectations of marriage and starting a family at a young age. She believed that all girls should follow their desired path in life, despite what was expected of them.
Akhtar imparted the same values on her four daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters. Through these lessons, her third daughter, Janet Cohansedgh, who tragically lost her life at age 27, broke through another glass ceiling by becoming a famous athlete and the first woman in Iran to go to the Olympics for Track and Field. Shortly after the passing of her daughter and husband, Akhtar fled her home country of Iran and sought asylum in the U.S. to rebuild her life.
Akhtar lived the second half of her life in the Seattle, WA and passed away at the age of 103 in Los Angeles surrounded by her family and loved ones. Despite the significant challenges she faced, she always found joy and hope in every moment and believed in endless possibilities. With every breath, she brought strength, resilience, humor and love into the lives of those around her and inspired everyone she touched to achieve the unimaginable, while being kind to one another.