In 2015, Simmone and Ashok Misra were looking for a chance to offer financial support to women who were facing barriers to pursing their education. On the recommendation of a friend, they contacted Seattle Education Access to see if they could support women of color with scholarship funds. Of SEA’s 800+ students, 55% are women and 77% are people of color; we knew many women served by SEA could use their support.
In October of that year, Simmone and Ashok established the Anil K. Mody Scholarship Fund, named in honor of Simmone’s father, to provide college scholarships to women of color enrolled in SEA’s programs in King County.
Dr. Anil K. Mody was a private individual who believed in the transformative power of education. He grew up at the time when conditions in his home country of India were not conducive for higher education, so he lived in Germany for 8 years to pursue a PhD in chemistry from the University of Stuttgart, followed by some work experience at German pharmaceutical companies.
It was always Dr. Mody’s desire to return to India after his higher education and to contribute to society in his home country. India was a developing country at that time, having just recently obtained her independence from British colonial rule. In fact, he did return after his PhD and he set up the first manufacturing facility for industrial strength adhesives in India. Unfortunately, Dr. Mody passed away at the very young age of 42, and was survived by his wife and two daughters. With the loss of the main earning member of the hous-ehold, the family faced some difficult times.
However, he had the foresight to invest in an education fund for his daughters and, thanks to the investment her parents had made, Simmone was able to complete her higher education. This was truly transformative for Simmone. Notwithstanding the difficult circumstances, she was liberated by the education she was able to pursue, so Simmone thought it was fitting to create this scholarship in the name of her father.
Now two years in, The Anil K. Mody Fund has now supported 12 women in their studies, including Margarita. Funds have covered books, childcare, tuition, and transportation for women looking to go into law and policy, nursing, education, medical office administration, business, marketing, computer networking, and international relations.