Amanda Balkhi, Ph.D.

In my role as the Executive Director of the Balkhi Foundation, I have the distinct privilege of working with some of this generation's most talented students. With the support of educators and families, it is my goal to bring strong opportunities for educational growth within reach of the students that are striving for success. It is my hope to use the lessons learned in academia to partner with schools, students, and members of the community to build a culture of mentorship and collaboration that facilitates student success for years to come.

Outside of the Foundation, I am honored to publish One, Two, What Do I Do? : A Children's Guide to Talking Back to OCD's Intrusive Thoughts. As the first children's book for OCD that shows kids from many backgrounds engaging in evidence based behavior, I believe we have the opportunity to expose children to evidence-based treatment across a global audience. 

What's New: One, Two, What Do I Do?  Now Available

“Education is the ultimate tool to empower talented students. I'm proud to play a small part in the success of our Balkhi Foundation Scholars.”

-Amanda Balkhi

Topics That Excite Me


Education is a great equalizer - and I truly believe that with access to a quality education, a person's life can be dramatically changed. Unfortunately, sometimes students with the most potential are the ones left isolated because of a lack of opportunities. 

I am proud to say that education and education access is on in the forefront of my mind. In partnership with outstanding organizations and through the Balkhi Foundation I hope to be able to facilitate more talented students receiving the education they deserve. 

Ethical Practice

Many organizations focus on following a model that emphasizes what has always been done - rather than how things should be done. 


Since the founding of the Balkhi Foundation I have built an organization that strives to do the right thing for our Scholars and every student that applies for our awards. This has a led to an application process that values a student's time with limited demands on outside resources and a selection process that follows best practices for blinded review. 


A strong mentor is at the heart of today's successes and tomorrow's leaders. I benefited from the outstanding mentorship of others throughout my education and am honored to have published a model of mentorship within clinical training. 


At the Balkhi Foundation, we are engaging in organizational mentorship - by sharing our model of scholarship evaluation and helping other organizations to reevaluate long held funding practices. We also strive to connect our scholars with past cohorts to build a community of peer mentorship. 



Frequently Asked Questions

What does a commitment to education mean?I believe that education has the ability to changes lives. By educating one student, we have the potential to radically change quality of life for three generations. First, by providing the student with the opportunity to succeed, second by providing their future children a stepping stone for success, and third by allowing the student to be better capable of reaching back to assist their parents later in life.

This is why I am proud of our work at the Balkhi Foundation. Since day one, we have strived to help talented students afford the educational opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. With that also comes a commitment to be more than a one time funding source for students. Every Balkhi Foundation Higher Education Scholarship is built to be renewable for up to four years, so that students have funding they can rely on throughout thier undergraduate studies.

Additionally, our family’s continued support of Cambodian Village Fund and our historical support of Pencils of Promise have allowed us to improve access to education for children in Cambodia and Guatemala. Each of these schools was built in concert with local communities and regional governments to ensure that the schools would have a lasting impact on the students of the surrounding areas.

What is ethical practice look like?Throughout graduate school, I developed an interest in ethical practice and the processes that can be used to encourage ethical decision making both within and outside the field of psychology.

When we founded the Balkhi Foundation, I knew that a core commitment must be an adherence to a protocol that honors the unique demands of being a student with financial challenges while providing a framework that allowed each student to be evaluated fairly.

I am incredibly proud of the work that we have done to bring this commitment to fruition at the Balkhi Foundation. While other scholarships require postage, submission of hard copy transcripts or recommendations, or access to a printer or scanner, our application has been tooled to allow students to complete our scholarship form without any of these additional “hidden” costs.

Additionally, the scholar selection process has operated under a blinded review protocol since its inception. Blinded scholarship review, similar to blinded peer reviews in academia or blinded recruitment in the world of industry, allows for students to be evaluated based on their merits and the narrative that they choose to provide to the scholarship committee while minimizing the impact of unconscious bias. I believe that this process is critical to ethical practice in any scholarship or grant giving organization.

How can I learn more about the Balkhi Foundation?We created the Balkhi Foundation as a way to give back to our community and help students who are attaining success despite the obstacles in their way. You can read more about our mission, learn about our Scholars, and view our scholarship criteria on the Balkhi Foundation website.

Copyright ©Amanda Balkhi 2022