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Guest blogger: Featured student Mercedes Trapp

Today at JPEF we are having a holiday party for our ONE in THREE exhibit featured students. Mercedes Trapp is of among them and she is a talented and dedicated spokeswomen! She shared a beautiful story with us and I asked that she share it with you.
-- Deirdre
 

Guest blogger: Featured student Mercedes Trapp

Changing lives, one at a time
 
Being a part of the ONE in THREE exhibit and the ONE by ONE Campaign is one of the amazing opportunities that I have ever experienced. I would have never thought by me telling my stories to others, it would actually make a huge impact in other people's lives. 
It was a couple weeks before the Teacher Voices event. I was in Wal-Mart going grocery shopping and I saw the cutest little girl staring at me. My sister was standing next to me and I told her to look at the little girl. When we both looked at the little girl, she pointed at me. I thought I might have done something wrong until she told the lady next to her, "Mama, that's Mercedes." I had an astonished look on my face because a three year old knew my name.
I walked over to introduce myself to the girl and the lady with her. The little girl had the brightest smile on her face and she said with excitement, "You are a super hero, do you know what your powers are?" I remember when I was three, I always thought that all super heroes can fly or read people's minds, but she looked at and stated, "To change people's lives."
I cried right in front of the little girl and the woman that was with her. I thought that the lady was her mother, but come to find out … it was her grandmother.
"Because of you, my daughter is going back to school to get her diploma." The lady explained to me that her daughter is actually the mother of the beautiful little girl with the bright smile and she dropped out of school when she was 16 years old. Because this girl read my story, she decided to make a change in her life and she is also making sure that her daughter has a wonderful future.
I never meet the girl who is now 17 years old, and I talked to her family for only five minutes. During those five minutes, I realized that by me sharing my story with other people, it can make a change and inspire others that nothing in this world is impossible. I have decided that I want to share my story to as many people as possible, because I know with my voice and the passion I have for my community, ONE by ONE … we can make a change.
-- Mercedes Trapp