The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) is pleased to announce the 2014 class of its first annual Turkish American Youth Leadership Congress.
From October 9-12, 2014, TCA will bring 29 Turkish American undergraduate students, graduate students, and young professionals to Washington, DC to attend meetings and briefings with U.S. Congressional staffers, Turkish Embassy officials, the U.S. Department of State, policy experts, and Turkish American activists. The program will also feature events highlighting the cultural and national landmarks of Washington, DC.
Youth Congress delegates are students or recent graduates of Turkish American heritage who wish to become active in American civic and political life, contribute to U.S.-Turkey relations and the Turkish American community, and are committed to advancing the
TCA mission. Through the Youth Congress, they will have the opportunity to:
- Expand their knowledge on U.S.-Turkey relations;
- Learn about the political systems in Turkey and the U.S.;
- Meet members of Congress, diplomats and policy experts;
- Increase their awareness on Turkish historical heritage in the United States and issues of importance to Turkish Americans;
- Learn about effective advocacy in the American political system;
- Develop their leadership roles in the Turkish American community; and
- Establish networks with their peers from across the United States.
For more information about TCA’s Turkish American Youth Leadership Congress and the 2014 class, please click here.
|2014 Turkish American Youth Leadership Congress Delegates|
Melodi is a junior at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, where she is studying Political Science and Spanish. After graduation she plans to study international law and work in diplomatic affairs.
Born in Turkey, Atakan lives in Athens, GA where he is a PhD candidate in Education Policy at the University of Georgia. He came to the U.S. five years ago, and completed his Master of Public Administration Degree at Kennesaw State University, and plans to teach at the university level when he finishes his PhD.
A recent graduate from Western Illinois University with a Master's degree in Political Science, Ersin currently works in Washington, DC for the House Budget Committee with the U.S. House of Representatives. He previously interned for Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN/4th) and the Center for International Enterprise Middle East and North Africa Desk.
A first generation Turkish American, Fatma is a first year MBA student in the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. She previously graduated with a B.S. in Economics and Political Science from Bryn Mawr College, and worked as an Operations Analyst for Barclays Capital.
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Ovgu is a freshman at the University of Florida studying Psychology and Neuroscience. An aspiring doctor, she was a high school honors student and held many leadership positions in service organizations throughout her school.
Like her twin sister Ovgu, Oyku was born in Istanbul is a freshman at the University of Florida. She is studying Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, and plans to attend medical school. Prior to beginning college, she was an honors student and leader at her high school in Boca Raton, Florida.
Originally from Houston, TX, Mirel is a sophomore at Harvard University studying Government and Economics. A dual U.S. and Turkish citizen, she has held internships at Vogue Magazine and Virgin Radio in Istanbul.
Selcuk received his MBA from Colorado Technical University in Denver, CO in 2013, before entering the workforce fulltime. He currently is an Assembly Line Operator for Hach/Lange-Danaher Corporation in Loveland, CO.
Born in Mersin, Turkey, Begum is a sophomore at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA studying pre-engineering. She has been involved in several organizations on campus and is a regular volunteer at events hosted by the Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington (TACAWA).
A third year law student at the New England School of Law in Boston, MA, Busra came to the U.S. from Turkey at the age of 15. She has served as a law clerk at both the Harvard Law Criminal Justice Institute and Kelly Law Office in Quincy, MA. She received her B.S. in Criminology, Law and Society from George Mason University in 2012.
Tara is a freshman pursuing an International Business degree from Florida International University in Miami, FL. A high school honors student, she was able to begin her college career as a sophomore as a result of AP tests she took in high school. Following graduation she plans to pursue an MBA and work in international affairs and business.
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Cansu is a junior at the University of California, Berkeley pursuing degrees in Integrative Biology and Spanish. A frequent volunteer at hospitals in California, Michigan, Missouri, and Turkey, she plans to attend medical school after graduation.
Artun recently graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a B.A. in History. A first generation Turkish American, Artun has served extensively as an activist for education reform and plans to attend law school next year.
A first generation Turkish American, Alev is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania studying international relations, focusing on Turkey and the Middle East. She has volunteered heavily for Amnesty International for the last several years, and plans to attend law school after graduation.
An ethnic Azerbaijani born in Iran, Farzin recently graduated from the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy in Baku, Azerbaijan with a Masters degree in Diplomacy and International Affairs. He has worked extensively in Azerbaijani and Turkic American issues, and is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Network of Azerbaijani Americans from Iran. He plans to get his PhD in political science, focusing on identity-based conflicts.
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Tugba relocated with her family to Seattle, WA when she was six years old. She is currently a senior at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, studying Sociology and Law. She plans to attend a political science Masters Program and eventually become a police officer.
Originally from Izmir, Turkey, Deniz is a senior at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. He has served as an intern for Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA/7th), and has volunteered heavily for Turkish American organizations in Seattle. He plans to attend law school after graduation and eventually running for public office.
Niki recently graduated with her B.A. in Political Science from Tulane University in May, 2014. She has served as an intern for the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) in Washington, DC and the Committee of the Seventy in Philadelphia, PA, and plans to pursue a law degree.
Suzan recently graduated from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey with her B.A. in International Relations. She is currently an intern at the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) in Washington, DC, and plans to remain involved in the U.S. political system.
A first generation Turkish American from Rochester, NY, Engin recently graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) – Buffalo with a B.S. in Business Administration. He is the current Market Development Administrator for Ingram Micro, a global technology distributor for CISO.
A former member of the Turkish National Gymnastics Team and a current boys gymnastics coach, Altay is a senior at San Francisco State University pursuing a degree in International Business. He plans to apply for the State Department after graduation.
Sezan is a recent graduate from American University with a Masters degree in U.S. Foreign Policy. She currently works as a Project Assistant for the Istanbul Energy and Economic Summit at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, and plans to pursue a career focused on strengthening U.S.-Turkish relations.
Born and raised in Ankara, Turkey, Utku is a current PhD student at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign studying Business Administration and Information Systems. A recent Business graduate from Northwestern University, he plans to become a business professor after finishing his PhD.
Kaan is a second generation Turkish American who is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is pursuing a degree in Economics and Business Administration, and wants to merge his interests in law, finance, economics, and political science into his work in the future.
Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Mukaddes has served as a successful Turkish language instructor throughout the U.S. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a Masters degree in the Languages and Cultures of Asia, she recently founded her own Turkish language instruction company, Karaman Language Solutions, LLC, in Washington, DC.
Mert is a sophomore at the California University of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh, PA pursuing a degree in International Relations. He spent middle and high school in Turkey, and recently served as the Assistant to the General Director of the Turkish American Business Association (TABA) in Istanbul, Turkey. He plans to obtain a Masters degree and PhD in Political Science.
Born in the U.S., Yesim was raised in Turkey until college. She currently is a senior at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, pursuing a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Pre-Med track. She has been heavily involved in the Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington (TACAWA), and plans to attend medical school after graduation.
Ilker is a student at Columbia University in New York pursuing a Masters degree in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. He has served extensively as a Turkish American activist, having organized letter writing workshops and campaigns encouraging his fellow students to contact their members of Congress, and wants to work in foreign relations after graduation.