Long-time volunteer has seen YDO and students transform
Mercedes Tran joined YDO staff in 2011. When she was younger, she wanted to join her older sisters at their private schools. After trying several times, she proudly gained admittance into Kinkaid School with full financial aid. Her middle school and high school experience allowed her to have several amazing experiences.
She graduated from Wellesley College in 2009 with 4 years of youth non-profit experience with the Dorchester community (directing summer camps, mentoring, and teenage programs) in collaboration with Havard and Phillips Brooks House Association. Then, she moved to Lawrence and she worked at Big Friends Little Friends, a mentoring program for 3 years.
When she joined YDO in 2011, she was whole-heartedly wanted to help middle schoolers apply to independent high schools. Aware that admissions process is hard to navigate, she wanted to guide and empower her students with study skills to take the SSAT, interview skills, and foster stronger writing skills. She feels deeply that all students deserve the chance to simply try for something better, especially their education. By trying, she believes that her students are not only learning the admissions process, but they are learning how to tackle challenges and advocate for themselves.
Inspired by the YDO students, she decided to attend graduate school in the school psychology program at Tufts University and she is graduating in May 2015. There, she learned more about social justice, education, and how to better support her students. She is currently working with her 5th cohort at YDO High School Prep and applies her graduate studies to her work with her students. She brings 10 years of youth nonprofit experience.