Mercedes first began her advocacy journey in 2016. Through participation in the Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day program, Mercedes is hoping to learn strategies to positively influence the government and to effectively advocate for former foster youth. Through her experience with NFYI, Mercedes hopes to gain new leadership skills, build her network and create long-lasting friendships. Mercedes also hopes to learn more about how Congress works together to create and establish policies. As a delegate this year, she is excited to experience the environment on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. When not advocating, Mercedes considers herself a concert junkie. She also loves spending time with her cat named “Boba Tea,” A quote Mercedes lives by is “Behind every strong woman is a story that gave her no other choice,” said by Nakeia Homer.