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A Passion for Education

Om & Shanti Funds at CFT provides scholarships and opportunities to students

CFT fund holders PARVESH AND JEET SETHI with their children KIRAN, ARUN, AND ANJALI at Clark High School.

For the Sethis, giving back is a family affair. Parvesh and Jeet Sethi have two charitable funds at CFT: the Om & Shanti Scholarship Fund and the Om & Shanti Fund, a donor-advised fund. Both their family fund and their scholarship fund are centered around providing educational opportunities for students. 

Parvesh and his family first immigrated to the United States from India. From an early age, Parvesh remembers his parents as hard workers who instilled the value of education in him and his siblings. Although his mother never finished high school, she believed that an education would give her children the opportunity to pursue their passions in life. “For our family, getting an education was never about working in a specific industry or discipline. It was about following our interests and pursuing the things that brought us joy,” Parvesh said. 

With a family of his own and his parent’s example of working hard and giving back, Parvesh began to explore giving vehicles that would align with their family values, and came across Communities Foundation of Texas. He spent time learning about the available charitable fund options and was amazed by the level of community impact. Parvesh noted, “I wish that I had known about CFT a lot earlier in my career, but it’s never too late to start your charitable giving journey!”

Established in 2017, the Om & Shanti Fund was named after Parvesh’s late parents and is used to invest in nonprofits that support early childhood and secondary education programs. It was important to Parvesh to continue his parents’ legacy by naming the fund after them. Parvesh, his wife, and their three adult children – Kiran, Arun, and Anjali – have found a deep sense of purpose in giving to organizations that align with their passion for education through their family fund. The Sethi family desired to make additional impact that furthered their heart for supporting students pursuing higher education, and established the Om & Shanti Scholarship Fund in 2020. 

“The scholarship fund provides more structure for giving to students in underserved communities who are graduating high school and/or graduates who would be first-generation college students. Between our family fund and our scholarship fund, we can positively impact a student’s entire career journey, and that is important to us,” said Parvesh.

Anjali, their youngest daughter, serves as one of the reviewers for scholarship applications to the fund. “I’ve been so inspired by the scholarship applications,” said Anjali. “They remind me of the resilience of my parents and my grandparents. I’m beyond amazed by their tenacity and perseverance; these students aren’t a product of their circumstances, but rather they’ve used their experiences to better their environment.”

For Anjali, education is as much a personal value as it is a family value. Like most of her family members, Anjali holds several degrees and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Baylor University. She has experienced firsthand how the power of education gives students opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise.

“For me, being able to read the stories of these students who have dreams to make a positive impact on their families and in their communities and knowing that the money we’re giving will be a part of helping them achieve their goals in life, is what gives me a deep sense of purpose and fulfillment,” said Anjali. 

To date, 10 high school graduates have been awarded four-year scholarships from the fund, and the Sethis have plans to award five more in spring 2023. Parvesh shared, however, that their purpose is not fulfilled by how many scholarships they award. “When we opened our scholarship fund, it was never about the total number of students who would receive a scholarship. I don’t know how many students we’ll be able to help support in total, but if we can make a small impact on someone in a positive way, it will have been worth it.” 

The Sethis’ donor-advised fund and scholarship fund at CFT are now integral parts of their family’s legacy. CFT is honored to play a role in stewarding their family’s passion for education by helping them leverage multiple giving strategies to achieve their charitable goals.

“The scholarship fund provides more structure for giving to students in underserved communities who are graduating high school and/or graduates who would be first-generation college students. Between our family fund and our scholarship fund, we can positively impact a student’s entire career journey.” 

CFT Fund Holder

This story was originally featured in our 2022 annual report. For additional details and content, click here.

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