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Jose Mercado, PepsiCo Foundation Pre-Law Public Policy Fellow
Hometown: Sacramento, California
School: University of California, Berkeley
Degree: B.A. Legal Studies and Social Welfare

Placement: Office of Senator Robert Menendez

Jose Roberto Mercado was born and raised in Sacramento, California. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Legal Studies and Social Welfare.

At UC Berkeley, Jose served as the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Academic Affairs for the all-inclusive Latino Pre-Law Society, which helped pique his interest in the legal profession. Jose volunteered for the legal services agencies Centro Legal de la Raza and Bay Area Legal Aid, and completed over 300 hours of public service through the California courts. As a JusticeCorps member and clinic volunteer, Jose assisted limited-English proficient litigants suffering from employment discrimination, domestic violence, and illegal eviction cases. In total, Jose contributed over four years of public service benefiting low-income and middle-income families.

Following graduation, Jose interned for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Working specifically with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Jose assisted the Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program, which promotes and strengthens Minority-Serving Institutions so they can carry out higher education programs in food and agriculture, natural resources, and nutrition. This experience led him to take on the role of a Contracts Associate for LifeLong Medical Care, where he utilized his legal and critical thinking background to streamline LifeLong’s contract approval and renewal process.

Jose is proud of his academic and work achievements, and recognizes that none of this would be possible without the unconditional love and support of his two immigrant parents. As a CHCI Public Policy Fellow, Jose plans on gaining new advocacy, legislative, and leadership skills to better serve low-income and middle-income communities, as well as the wider Latino community. Following this fellowship opportunity, Jose plans on attending law school and using his educational experience to further serve his community at large.