STAMFORD, Conn. -- "It's great to bring understanding to local issues,'' Stamford native R.J. Mercede said. "By infusing more local business and youth ideas, Stamford can stand as its own diverse center, not simply as another hub to New York City."
Mercede, from his mightily diversified background was made for community-driven change and that is what he's making happen on a daily basis in Stamford.
With a graduate degree in Criminal Justice, Mercede always had a passion for solving community problems. His travels within the United States and abroad have only fueled his fire for addressing communities. Which is now his hope for his hometown of Stamford.
Mercede founded Stamford's chapter for Eat for Equity, which brings "people together around good food to raise money for the greater good."
With a focus on local, homegrown goods, there's an evident appreciation for community.
In addition, Mercede also tries to foster a community environment with his work for the Public Allies organization out of Bridgeport.
And if he wasn't busy enough, Mercede has found himself taking part in the Ignite Stamford effort, "a community outlet for sharing stories, spreading ideas and enacting positive change on a local level."
But what seems to take the cake is the most recent initiative that Mercede has taken up which involves saying YES.
He heads the Stamford chapter of Young Energetic Solutions where members meet to be educated on "how to get involved in their communities through boards and commissions."
What Mercede is looking to do is spark new ideas through creative engagement locally.
A Nutmegger at heart, Mercede lived in New Orleans, Boston, Portland and Sacramento before calling Stamford home once again. When he's not displaying his soccer skills in Brazil or rappelling a 4-story fire tower in Istanbul, he's busy organizing the Stamford community to think, connect and act.
Diane Pauley, the PostGrad Coach, resides in Stamford. Learn more about her at PostGradolescence.com.