Leadership Law Participants

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Yalcin Akin

Dr. Akin is the founder and executive director of Orlando Science Middle/High and Orlando Science Elementary School.

Dr. Akin earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at University of Florida (UF) in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Dr. Akin worked as a Research Associate at the Florida State University (FSU), Physics Department, Tallahassee, FL. He worked in National Science Foundation (NFS) and Department of Energy (DOE) supported projects at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL), Tallahassee, FL for 4 years. Dr. Akin also mentored K-12 teachers, high school and under graduate students under NSF supported Research Experience Programs at the NHMFL. He has been involved in teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at the UF. Dr. Akin has numerous scientific publications and actively involved in Charter Schools in Florida and other states.

He currently serves as the Executive Director of Orlando Science Schools (OSS), in Orlando, Florida since the school has started in operation six years ago. Since the opening, the School has doubled its enrollment and serving around 750 students in K thru 12th grades. The School is one of the best performing school in Orange County and the State of Florida. The School received a “A” grade four years in a row, and made AYP in all subgroups. Under his leadership the School received SACS-CASI accreditation in 2011, and received high performing charter status in 2012. The School’s Science Olympiad team became the State Winner from FL State Science Olympiad. OSS Elementary School has opened in 2012 and also received an “A” school grade from 2013 FCAT. Dr. Akin has completed required governing training requirements. He regularly participates in annual Florida Charter School Conferences. He is a member of Florida Charter School Consortium. He is very actively involved in and volunteered dissemination of best practices and replication of high quality charter schools. He always highlights the importance of STEM education in K-12 school levels as an important building block for students’ future careers.

Executive Director · Orlando Science Schools · 407-253-7304 · Contact by email

Stephen Alexander

The original Steve O, Mr. Alexander is a Financial Services Professional for New York Life Insurance Company. In this role, he helps both individuals and companies with their contingency planning, as well as identifying their financial needs. He then determines which financial products can best help them meet their objectives. One of his primary missions is to uncover guaranteed income that his clients can depend on throughout their retirement.

Prior to his current role, he was a Client Service Liaison for Pershing LLC (a BNY Mellon subsidiary), where he focused on assisting Broker-Dealers and Institutional Clients with block trade orders and advanced asset allocations. Before joining Pershing LLC in 2010, Steve worked as a Senior Investment Accountant for BNY Mellon. Before that, he was a founding member of the Trading Analytics Group at Charles Schwab, a team of professionals who educated both retail clients and investment advisors in fundamental and technical analysis.

Steve attended Rollins College, where his studies included Economics and Computer Science. He is currently pursuing both his ChFC and CFP thru the American College. He is a member of the Orlando Chamber of Commerce, the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Urban League, and Toastmasters. He also serves as Vice President of his local BNI chapter. In his free time, he is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys canoeing the Wekiva River and playing chess.

Financial Services Professional · New York Life · 407-999-0352 · Contact by email

Sheyla A Asencios

Florida Democratic Party Hispanic Media & Outreach Director, Sheyla Asencios, began taking an active role in the Central Florida community at an early age. Upon immigrating to the United States from Peru, she was raised in Kissimmee, Florida. Beginning early in college and throughout her career she has worked as a reporter, editor, commentator and writer for various media entities including NBC’s Wesh 2 News, The Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, Chasqui News and Telemundo. As reporter, she has sought to uncover truth and report on under-represented groups and the Latino community in Osceola and Orange Counties.

Upon graduating the University of Florida, Ms. Asencios began devoting much of her time to public service. She became a Juvenile Drug Court and Teen Court volunteer in Orange, Osceola and Alachua counties and worked as a legal and development assistant at the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association. Her ability to foster relationships and background in public service, led to the opportunity to become the Orange County Bar Association's youngest staff member by assuming the role of Marketing Manager. It is here where her love for cause marketing and community leadership flourished. She became the program manager of the bar association's community outreach program, Leadership Law, which won the LexisNexis Community and Educational Outreach Award in 2012 and whose program sponsors helped secure proceeds for the OCBA and its sister affiliates the Legal Aid Society of the OCBA and the OCBA Foundation.

In the fall of 2012, Ms. Asencios took an active role in politics, working in The Honorable Darren Soto’s successful campaign for Florida Senator, District 14. She currently works for the Florida Democratic Party as its Central Florida Hispanic Media & Outreach Director where she mobilizes activists, advises and supports state and local elected officials, and assists in political campaigns across the I-4 corridor. She appears as a guest political commentator on Telemundo’s Telenoticias XTRA and the television program Hispanics Speakout TV aired on Bright House Networks. She volunteers for the Legal Aid Society of the OCBA and is an executive committee member of its annual fundraiser the Breakfast of Champions. In November of 2013, Ms. Asencios received Congressional Recognition by Congressman Alan Grayson for her work in public service and with the Hispanic community of Central Florida.

Hispanic Media & Outreach Director · Florida Democratic Party · 407-485-4408 · Contact by email