Shaheena Karimi Scholarship Fund

A young woman who went to college with me passed away this year. She was a wonderful, vivacious personality. A mutual friend, in conjunction with her family, has established a scholarship in her memory at Barnard. Please read the letter below and consider donating here.


A little over nine months ago, each of us lost someone very dear to our hearts. Shaheena Karimi was a warm, genuine and passionate woman. Never without a smile, Shaheena inspired all of us through her unwavering determination to live a full life. To Shaheena, this absolutely included giving generously of her time to help others, regardless of what obstacles were thrown in her path. Ignoring her own challenges, she always found time to motivate and drive each of us to better embrace our own trials, troubles and blessings. She was always there for us and made each of us feel uniquely special. Since her passing on the day of her 33rd birthday, we have heard countless stories from friends and family on how she was there for each of them as well.

Whether she was an acquaintance, friend, cousin, or colleague, Shaheena was there to listen, to give you a more positive perspective, and most importantly, to make you feel loved. Despite the daily struggles she faced since the age of seven, Shaheena never let those struggles define her.

She faced adversities with a strength and optimism many of us only wish we had. It was this strength and optimism that drove Shaheena to constantly seek out opportunities to help others. Through various voluntary roles, Shaheena made it a priority to put the needs of others before her own. Shaheena's inspiring story, along with the many touching messages shared by so many of her friends, is captured on We invite you to visit her website.

Shaheena’s sincere and selfless personality inspired us to create an endowment in her name. This is fitting because just like Shaheena, this endowed scholarship fund will help others in perpetuity—for generations to come. The scholarship fund will be established at Shaheena’s alma mater, Barnard College, and will provide an annual scholarship to one deserving young woman who exemplifies the ideals of social service and volunteerism espoused by Shaheena. To create this permanent endowed fund, we will raise $100,000.

We hope you will join us in establishing this fund. Its never-ending support of others will help keep the memory of Shaheena and the universal message of her life’s pursuit alive in perpetuity.