‘We knew that we needed to take action’: Delara, Layla Tehranchi expand ‘Coco’s Angels’

Sisters+and+founders+of+non-profit+organization%2C+Cocos+Angels%2C+hold+foster+youth+at+their+annual+Back+to+School+event.+Delara+and+Layla+Tehranchi+organize+events+to+connect+with+foster+children+and+provide+them+with+resources+they+have+gathered+through+drives.

Kambiz Tehranchi

Sisters and founders of non-profit organization, Coco’s Angels, hold foster youth at their annual Back to School event. Delara and Layla Tehranchi organize events to connect with foster children and provide them with resources they have gathered through drives.

By Rose Sarner, Archer School for Girls

During the height of a global pandemic, and what the National Post describes as “a year that left us speechless,” the Tehranchi family adopted foster child, Coco. After adopting Coco, sisters Layla (‘24) and Delara (‘23) Tehranchi founded Coco’s Angels, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children in the Los Angeles foster system.

During the 2020 holiday season, the Tehranchi sisters raised over $50,000 to provide hundreds of kids in Los Angeles County gifts. This year, Delara Tehranchi has focused on providing education to foster children, expanding the organization’s mission beyond supplying physical necessities.

“Coco’s Angels has evolved tremendously in the past year, primarily in our shift from solely having events focused on gift giving, to now, in addition, focusing on education,” Delara Tehranchi said. “The disparity of education in Los Angeles cannot be ignored, which is why we knew Coco’s Angels had to take action by deep diving into the realities of educational disparity in Los Angeles County, specifically for foster children.”

In order to understand the issue of education in the foster system, the Tehranchi sisters spent weeks researching. Through connecting with various organizations such as Guardians of Love, they began planning events like their annual Back to School event, which provides foster youth with educational resources, and establishing free tutoring programs for foster youth.

Delara Tehranchi connects with foster youth during Cocos Angels annual Back to School event. This year, the event has expanded to now provide educational resources and tutoring services.
Delara Tehranchi connects with foster youth during Coco’s Angels annual Back to School event. This year, the event has expanded to provide educational resources and tutoring services. (Photo credit: Kambiz Tehranchi )

“We knew that we needed to take action after discovering the number of foster youth failing their classes and being revoked of their right to have a fair education all because they didn’t have the resources and abilities accessible to them,” Layla Tehranchi  said. “Coming from an extremely hardworking family who has always told us that education is the key to success, my sister and I are so grateful to have the opportunity to help youth our age get the opportunities they have been denied.”

According to Layla Tehranchi, Coco’s Angeles is rapidly expanding and gaining attention. Older sister Delara Tehranchi has been featured on VoyageLA, Authority Magazine, Shoutout LA and was named Seventeen Magazine’s Voice of Change Honoree this August.

“I truly couldn’t believe it when Seventeen magazine reached out asking me to be their youth of change honoree for the 2022 year. It was such an honor to have a platform as large as Seventeen magazine to share my voice,” Delara Tehranchi said. “My dream is to find solutions to the issues that plague our nation’s foster system, and with the help of news outlets like Seventeen who care about the same issues I do, I know we will be able to get there one day.”

“I feel so grateful to be trusted as someone who can speak on behalf of the foster youth I work with, and I will make sure to continue to speak up about what I know deep down is right.” ”

— Delara Tehranchi ('23)

In just a few weeks, Coco’s Angels will be launching crewnecks designed by local young artists and donating 100% of the proceeds to their work with foster youth in Los Angeles. Additionally, after attending the Archer STEM Symposium this past year for her project on annual foster parent retention rates in the Los Angeles county private and public systems, Delara Tehranchi connected with Kate Chiang, a senior at Gretchen Whitney High School, who is also passionate about foster youth.

“We both bonded over our passion for foster youth. We wanted foster children to be able to have access to developing their public speaking and communication skills that will help them in all realms of their life,” Delara Tehranchi said. “That is what drove us to partner up with Toastmasters International to create the first ever Toastmasters International Coco’s Angels Gavel Club where we will meet bi-weekly with local foster youth to help them in finding their voice and enhance the way they are able to communicate.”

Layla and Delara Tehranchi are constantly planning events and expanding Coco’s Angels and are hosting their annual Back to School event Saturday, Sept. 17.

“Our end goal for Coco’s Angels is to never have an end goal,” Layla Tehranchi said. “We hope to continue fighting these issues in the foster care system for as long as we can and to have Coco’s Angels be a driving force of change for future generations to come.”

This story was originally published on The Oracle on September 14, 2022.