Dr. Haleema Shaikly began City of Knowledge in 1994, giving up her lucrative career as a dentist. Over the last 23 years, Dr. Haleema has made education her priority, obtaining a PhD in Education, and growing the school into a full-time, pre-K to 12, WASC-accredited, college preparatory school, without ever taking a salary. She has expanded the mission of the school to function as a community center organizing Interfaith peace walks at the school with Christian and Jewish counterparts, hosting SAT prep courses during the summer open to all students in the area, and organized an interfaith-social justice library. Her love for education has inspired many students to continue their education, as the school has earned a 100% college matriculation rate. One student says, “I can say first hand that she is an instrumental part of why I pursued my medical degree in emergency medicine. She taught me self-confidence.” She is especially focused on inclusiveness. For example, during awards ceremonies, she tries to ensure every student receives recognition because she believes that a student's failure to thrive is not often their own fault; rather, it is due to their circumstances. Dr. Shaikley is an active member of the surrounding interfaith community. After the tragic San Bernardino shootings, people of all different faiths came to protect City of Knowledge School a because of the continued community outreach by Dr. Shaikley.