Published: Oct. 26, 2018

This fall, the Leeds School of Business launched the One Soul Leeds Diversity Scholarship to support the success of diverse students. This opportunity is possible through an exciting partnership with Jeff Damavandi, a Leeds alumnus (´90) and co-founder of the One Soul Foundation, a California-based nonprofit focused on providing economic support to help low-income and middle-class students achieve their educational goals. 
The new scholarship fund was established through a gift of $500,000 from the Damavandi family and the One Soul Foundation, and is projected to increase to more than $1 million with the help of matching donations from alumni, friends and corporate partners of the university. 
As an alumnus of Leeds, Damavandi knows the world-class business programs and resources Leeds provides its students firsthand. After his son decided to pursue his degree at Leeds, his own connection to the school was reignited, particularly by its forward-thinking approach to business and its commitment to social responsibility, business ethics and doing well by doing good. “If students are able to get an education at Leeds, they’ll have so many opportunities to successfully pursue their passions after college,” he said. 
Damavandi’s inspiration to start the One Soul Foundation came from his deeply-rooted beliefs in equal access to education, particularly in light of the rising student debt in the United States. “I’ve always been involved in giving back to the community, and my main passion is making sure everyone has equal opportunity to a college education,” he said.
The inaugural One Soul Leeds Diversity Scholarship was awarded to 16 freshmen this fall, who all attended the Diverse Scholars Program annual retreat. Over the next five years, a total of 80 students will have the opportunity to apply for the competitive scholarship, which requires students to maintain good academic standing with Leeds and CU Boulder.
When asked about the potential impact of his gift, Damavandi is modest: “My hope is simply that every student that receives scholarship funds can graduate and get the job they desire.”
As a champion of diversity, and with a commitment to student-centered education and success, the Leeds School is thrilled to partner with Damavandi and the One Soul Foundation. Damavandi is also CEO/President/Founder of the Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm Dylan Investments, a company focused on creating intrinsic value for all parties involved in its transactions.

If you are interested in supporting Leeds students in the Diverse Scholars Program with financial need, click here to make a contribution to the One Soul Scholarship