Meet Our Founder
Burcak Deniz Cakir, M.A., M.B.A.
Founder & President
Ranked first in her graduating class, our founder and president Burcak Deniz Cakir holds a B.A. in Foreign Language Education, an M.A. in English Language Teaching, and an M.B.A., all of which have laid the solid foundation for her professional experiences as an educator. Mrs. Cakir expects to complete the College Counseling Program at UCLA, which is known to be the most prestigious certificate program in the profession, in December 2019.
Mrs. Cakir has previously taught English as a Foreign/Second Language (EFL/ESL) in Turkey and in the U.S. at Virginia Tech, Harcum College, Rutgers University (Newark and New Brunswick Campuses), and Pace University. Having taught EFL/ESL at the college level for over 20 years, Mrs. Cakir can communicate effectively with college-age students from different countries. Her extensive experience with international students from many countries including but not limited to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Korea, and China has given her the opportunity to understand their unique problems that domestic students may not be facing throughout the college admissions process, such as but not limited to extra testing requirements (TOEFL, IELTS), the translation of high school transcripts and recommendation letters, different financial forms and statements required, visa issues, being homesick, culture shock, etc. Mrs. Cakir is bilingual in Turkish and English. In her past position, she worked closely with students from Saudi Arabia studying English as a Second Language at Rutgers University throughout their journey to gaining admission to the U.S. colleges. She was their SAT Verbal teacher, TOEFL mentor, essay specialist, and instructor in Academic Writing classes, which has given her a good understanding of their culture as well as the daunting U.S. college admissions process.
As a mother who was born, raised, educated in a country different from the U.S., and experienced the complexity of the U.S. college admissions process during her daughter’s applications, Mrs. Cakir understands the academic, social, and financial challenges that both domestic and international applicants face at the gates of the U.S. colleges.
Mrs. Cakir’s deep dedication to education is contagious and it inspires her students to reach their true potential. She is a firm believer that it takes a whole village to raise a kid, so she strives to be a part of educating the whole student. Her student-centered approach to college counseling has proven to prepare each student for the rocky road to college not only academically but also psychologically. By empowering her students to make wise decisions and to take responsibility for their own future, Mrs. Cakir helps them become more mature and college-ready by the end of the college admissions process.
Mrs. Cakir has always acted as her students’ mentor and a problem solver to accommodate their needs. She is very patient when it comes to her students and a very good listener, which helps her create a good rapport with them so that they can talk to her about anything, which especially helps them express themselves openly when they craft their college application essays. Since she gains students’ trust pretty quickly, they always cooperate with her and try hard to meet her high academic expectations of them, which produces a positive outcome throughout their college applications. Mrs. Cakir is very organized, which enables her to finish tasks efficiently and meet deadlines. This is very crucial throughout the college admissions process and a trait she aims to pass on to her students.
Mrs. Cakir lives in Edison, New Jersey with her husband Ozgur, two daughters – Tuvana, who is in college and Lara, who is soon-to-be college-bound, and her four-legged son Kai. In her free time, she can be found spending time with her family, reading (lots!) about college admissions and college essays, watching her favorite movies, getting lost in design magazines, decorating her house, or daydreaming about that fixer upper she would like to flip with her husband one day! One day…
Our mission at EdMission Possible is to help domestic and international college-bound high school students navigate the college admissions process efficiently and help them find their true “fit” so that they not only succeed but also thrive academically, socially, and financially in their college choices. This benefits them by reducing anxiety, staying well-organized and up-to-date with all the deadlines, increasing the chances of getting admitted to their target schools, and easing the decision making process. Our effective student-centered approach intends to make the college admissions process more exciting and less stressful than it has to be for our students and families.
Our approach to college counseling is student-centered, which will focus on training college-bound students in the right direction to take full responsibility for their own future. Our goal is to prepare our students for college in the best way possible, not only academically but also psychologically, so that they will not only succeed but also thrive in college. Our proven technique helps them come out of this process very-well organized and having learned time management skills, which will be very crucial for success in college and beyond.
What is Student-Centered College CounselingTM?
During her over two decades of experience with pre-college students transitioning to college in the English as a Foreign/Second Language (EFL/ESL) programs where she has taught, combined with her pro bono college counseling work she conducts with college-bound high school students, Mrs. Cakir has observed the importance of grit, or the lack thereof, in correlation to student success. A student who has been steered by parents until entering college often finds herself/himself like fish out water as soon as s/he steps foot on campus. Without the lifelong-present direction laid out by parents, the student feels lost and withdraws herself/himself from what otherwise might have been a wonderful and positive college experience. The number of stories of students who transfer, drop out, or start taking up dangerous habits due to the stress and anxiety this uncharted territory called college brings along is increasing by the day. The National Standards for School Counseling Programs (1997: 2) state, “Students will make decision, set goals, and take necessary action to achieve goals.” For that national standard to be actualized, college-bound students need to be empowered and given the initiative to make decisions about their own futures. EdMission Possible’s Student-Centered College Counseling approach is a manifestation to the goal of educating high school students to become responsible and mature young people who will be ready to take on any future challenges they face in college and beyond. That is why our unique approach focuses on the student and the student’s needs, decisions, and actions; not those of the parents. Parents will always be our partners in working for the best possible future for their high schoolers, but our entire work and sessions will be conducted with the student only. At EdMission Possible, we are lifelong educators and firm believers that success comes when a student takes responsibility for her/his own actions and therefore kindly ask parents to sit back, relax, and let us help their children craft their future. Doing so will not only give them a chance to enjoy their parenthood and spend as much quality time with their children as possible while they still can, but also help their sons and daughters reach their true potential, have a very rewarding college experience, and be prepared for what lies ahead. This is the philosophy that EdMission Possible was founded on and the biggest reason why it will always succeed in educating generations to come...
Our story started with our founder’s life-long dedication to education. Hear it from her:
They say it takes a village to raise a child. In my case, that village only consisted of me and my husband. We were first-generation immigrants in the U.S. and although we both had multiple degrees from very prestigious, Ivy league caliber universities, we had no idea about the U.S. college admissions process, which is completely different from those in many countries in the world. When our older daughter Tuvana was about to embark on her college journey, I realized that the admissions process was nothing like we had experienced before. Coming from higher education myself, I did not like the feeling of the unknown. I took action and hired an Independent Educational Consultant for Tuvana. That was the best decision and the best kind of money spent! The process was so informative for me that I was learning something every single day along the way and was motivated to learn even more! I could not stop reading books on the college admissions process. Eventually, I started volunteering to help out friends’ college-bound children and first-generation students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Each time I worked with a student, I realized how much I loved the magical experience of seeing a teenager turn into a mature young man and woman in front of my eyes. The positive feedback I was receiving about my work with them inspired me to look into the possibility of starting a career doing what I love the most. My research on how to become an accomplished Independent Educational Consultant took me to UCLA, where I have been mastering the art of becoming the best College Counselor I can be. I know what it means to be lost in the college admissions process and I look forward to being a part of your village.