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I am an educator, community leader, mentor and relationship builder in Jacksonville, Florida. I hold several certificates and three degrees.
Middle East Technical University
University of the East
De La Salle University
In 1996, I earned my Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, where I was born and raised.
Coming from a family of teachers, my passion for education has always been strong, and I decided to pursue it as a career. With the dream of completing my education and opening a school, I embarked on a journey to the Philippines. During my five years there, I achieved a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of the East, followed by a Master of Business Administration with a focus on Marketing from De La Salle University.
A New Start
I met my wife Angie, and together we moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 2002 for a fresh start.
Throughout my life, I have held a powerful dream that every school child should have the opportunity to thrive academically and be inspired and empowered by their educational accomplishments, regardless of their gender, nationality, religion, or economic class. In 2007, I co-founded the first River City Science Academy (RCSA), a STEM-focused public charter school. Starting with an initial attendance of 160 students, RCSA became the first charter school in Duval County to earn an A-grade from the Department of Education.
I am proud to say that we have since opened five additional school locations, serving over 5,000 students in the Jacksonville, St. Johns, and Jax Beach areas.
As the Chief of Public Affairs and Community Engagement, I oversee the overall operations of the schools, utilizing my experience in program development and implementation. It is crucial to me that the value of a well-rounded education and the embrace of diversity remain at the forefront of our educational endeavors.
I am dedicated to building strong partnerships and fostering relational engagement within the community. I actively participate in various community boards and advisory committees, including the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, GlobalJax, Starbase, JAX Chamber, and the Mayor's Asian American Advisory Board. Additionally, I am committed to continuous personal growth and have completed leadership programs such as the Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2019, Lifework Leadership Class of 2022, and the Bridges Leadership Class of 2023.
During the holy month of Ramadan, my wife Angie and I open our home to host Friendship and Gratitude dinners. Since 2007, we have welcomed over 3,000 people from all walks of life to these gatherings, providing an opportunity for individuals from diverse backgrounds and age groups to come together and celebrate a tradition that may be unfamiliar to them. Through inspiring conversations about the Jacksonville community, these events motivate attendees to contribute to the betterment of the city.
With the unwavering support of my wife Angie, I understand the transformative power of defying the odds. I remain dedicated to establishing a strong value system and creating an educational haven for children throughout the Jacksonville community. My passion for education, commitment to diversity, and desire to make a positive impact continue to drive me forward on this journey.