Making a Difference: Kaveh Sajadi

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From Memphis to the Middle East and the Big Apple to the Bluegrass, you might say Lexington physician Kaveh Sajadi gets around.

Partly the path his specialty training required, and partly because of his heritage, Sajadi and his wife, Kristin, embrace travel and enjoy learning the historical and cultural differences offered in many exotic locales.

We want other families to have the same educational opportunities for their kids, the same programming options for their children, that we have been fortunate enough to have both for ourselves and our children.
Kaveh Sajadi, Lexington

“I’m very interested in travel and history, which are both big hits with public television,” said Sajadi, who also has been to Australia, Europe, and the Caribbean. “We watch a lot of programs, like Rick Steves, which give us good ideas for new destinations.”

Sajadi, who had practiced medicine with his father before he retired, was born in Iran, where his dad and American-born mother returned after they married. The family later came back to the United States when Sajadi was 6, and he was raised in Lexington.

“We also really enjoy documentaries, including some of the Ken Burns series that have been on and history with a dramatic flair, like Downton Abbey. That’s certainly been a popular one with us lately.”

As someone whose early exposure to public television included documentaries he watched in middle and high school, in addition to catching the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, Sajadi also appreciates the public affairs coverage offered by KET.

“Other strong aspects, on a local basis, of KET is local political debates, which you’re not going to get on other networks, because they have a more national bent,” he said.

Like many parents, the Sajadis looked to PBS KIDS for quality educational programming, much as they themselves did as kids when Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood were their daily fare. Sarah, 11, and Will, 8, have been fans of Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine, Calliou, and Dinosaur Train.

And so the family decided that contributing to KET was the next logical step in their loyalty to public television.

“For years we viewed it as just a free benefit for our kids—and we haven’t always been in a position to make a donation,” he noted.

“And now that we are in a position, it became a priority for us. We want other families to have the same educational opportunities for their kids, the same programming options for their children, that we have been fortunate enough to have both for ourselves and our children.

“KET provides programming not readily available on any other network—generally commercial-free broadcasts—which is refreshing,” he said. “But it’s an important service, and the more independent and varied sources of funding, the more independent and varied the programming can be,” he said.

“And without giving, it would be like any other other channel. That’s what makes it unique. It’s kind of like it’s our network, our community’s network, for all of us.”

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