Mercedes is a native of East Saint Louis, Illinois. She became interested in American Sign Language after moving to Jacksonville, Illinois where the Illinois School for the Deaf is located. After socializing with the Jacksonville deaf community, she decided to enroll in the Interpreter Preparation Program at John A. Logan Community College and graduated in 2009 with an Associate of Arts Degree in Interpreting and Deaf Studies.
She continued her education by applying for and getting accepted into the Interpreting Program at Gallaudet. While at Gallaudet, she was extensively involved and submersed with the community by becoming a Peer Leader, Resident Advisor, serving on the Student Advisory Board, by being involved with the Deaf Bilingual Coalition, and by becoming a member of NBDA, Potomac Chapter Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Black Deaf Student Union, Keeping the Promise and NAOBI-DC.