“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”

– Alice Walker

Mercedes brings a frame work of systems analysis and social change to her work and lifts her experiences as a Black young woman with a deep appreciation and love of intercultural exchange. She believes in the sharing of resources and experiences, and holds deep personal connection and transformation as foundational to meaningful work of any kind.

Prior to joining the team, she served as an AmeriCorps Public Ally in Hartford as a member of the 2016 – 2017 cohort. Through the nonprofit management apprenticeship, she gained invaluable skills, working with teammates to record and analyze qualitative data, host community events, and collaborate with local organizations. She was formally partnered with Husky Programs and UCONN Husky Sport where she curated social media content and delivered wellness education through a sports-based youth-development lens to students in Hartford.

Mercedes joined the Perrin Family Foundation in 2017 as a Program Associate, where she is responsible for developing and implementing the foundation’s operating, administrative, and grants management systems, and overseeing the foundation’s digital communications. She is happy to be part of a team and professional culture that supports her commitment to people-centered practices and systems that support the work in-the-field and those doing it.

She engaged in community-building work in college, and participated in both grassroots activism and administrative efforts towards campus change. After participating in a campus-wide student sit-in, she witnessed first-hand the transformative power of youth-adult partnerships as a means to actualize the theory she was learning in classroom spaces as a Black Studies major in her immediate environment.

Mercedes earned a Bachelors of Arts from Amherst College and is excited to be part of this work in the philanthropic field. A New Yorker at heart, Mercedes likes city streets and summer heat, and is always ready for a rainbow bagel or quality time with her family and cat Felix.