I AM FPHLP 2021: Edith Mercado

Edith Mercado, FPHLP 2021Edith Mercado was part of the Michigan FPHLP 2021 cohort. She is currently a senior at Elmhurst University majoring in Biology and minoring in Environmental Studies, Spanish and Chemistry. During FPHLP Summer of 2021, Edith interned with Green Door Initiative.

Through Michigan FPHLP, Edith wanted to expand her knowledge of public health and to figure out who she is. Before the internship, Edith had no idea what she wanted to do with her life after her undergraduate career, but after learning so much in the internship, Edith now knows. She participated in FPHLP to find herself.

At Green Door Initiative, Edith's role was to provide online resources to the workforce on lead and asbestos exposure. These resources will help prevent further damage to the workers. 

When asked about Edith's highlights while participating in Michigan FPHLP, she says "Where do I even start!" From the beginning, Edith was welcomed with open arms. She learned a lot of diversity and equity in public health. Another highlight of the summer was being able to assess the needs of a community and providing resources to the workforce.

Edith's greatest challenge would have been the online part and statistics. She always struggled with statistics here in undergrad but Zoom fatigue is real for everyone! Edith re-learned statistics and was able to push through the long Zoom meetings.

Edith Mercado, FPHLP 2021

After leaving FPHLP, Edith returned to Elmhurst University for her last year of Resident Advisor (RA) training. She will complete her senior year and start looking for fellowships, jobs, and apply to graduate school with the University of Michigan being one of them. Edith is also starting a Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) chapter at her university, a program that provides resources and field work with hands-on experiences to underrepresented minorities of all backgrounds. She wants to help those who need that extra experience to be able to find a job or apply to graduate school.

As for future plans, Edith hopes to be a future public leader. She wants to be that spokesperson for those who are unable to speak. Edith was to be able to help communities in need and fight for their equity and equality. She sees herself entering the environmental public health world with a doctorate in the future.

Edith believes that others should apply to FPHLP because you learn so much about yourself. You would be surprised how much support and wisdom you will gain in Michigan FPHLP. Although the summer is over, Edith will always cherish and remember her time in FPHLP. She encourges those who are participating in future years to please enjoy the experience: get to know your cohort, preceptors, and mentors because time goes by fast and these people are the real deal!