Kerem’s Story

Safe and Thriving

Kerem Goldagi

The Parent Child Center of Tulsa, DVIS

Kerem Goldagi left his native Turkey at 19, seeking a better life in Canada.

“We had low standards of education in Turkey and I wanted a better life,” he says.

He moved to Vancouver, B.C., not knowing a word of English. However, he soon mastered the language and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He began a career as a property manager and got married.

“I was on top of the world – I was financially secure, proficient in English and happily married.”

The couple moved to Oklahoma and welcomed a child into the world, Ruby Jude, in 2015. “Fatherhood is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

However, his wife began drinking and soon became physically abusive toward him. He became concerned about his child’s safety.

“I tried to get her to stop, but three weeks after our baby was born, she physically attacked me while I was holding Ruby. I called 911 and the police officer took us to a shelter operated by DVIS (Domestic Violence Intervention Services.)”

By this time, he had no job, no car, and only had $300 in his pocket. “I couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

DVIS helped him with shelter, food and childcare. Counselors also referred him to The Parent Child Center of Tulsa, where he enrolled in no-cost home visiting services.

With the help of DVIS and The Parent Child Center of Tulsa, he soon found employment and was able to afford his own apartment.

Today, he coordinates corporate travel for a company that contracts with J.P. Morgan Chase. Ruby is flourishing at two years old, is enrolled in quality childcare, and his mother has come to the U.S. to help.

“The United Way helped me put my life back together. Now I can be a productive member of society. I’m not looking back.”