Abraham Mercado, Truman Scholar
Abraham Mercado is a student at Fordham College at Rose Hill.
Abraham Mercado, an international political economy major, recently became Fordham's eighth Truman Scholar and its second from Puerto Rico.
He began working with the St. Edmund Campion Institute for Prestigious Fellowships in his sophomore year to prepare his application. The $30,000 federal scholarship—the most prestigious American award given to undergraduates for graduate study—is awarded annually to between 60 and 65 college juniors who have demonstrated leadership and a commitment to public service.
“My vocation for public service is the main driving force behind everything I do,” said Mercado. “It is at the top of my priorities in my plans for the rest of my life.”
He is currently working with a group from Cornell University to establish Progressive Youth International, a non-governmental organization that supports sustainable, community-based development projects and small-business incentives aimed at poverty relief in Latin America.
To prepare for the interview portion of the application, Mercado prepped with Gualberto Rodriguez, FCRH ’95, who also won a Truman for Fordham and graduated from Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola.
“He invited me to his office and we spoke a lot about interview strategies, what kind of questions they would ask me, how I drafted my policy proposal and how I would defend it,” Mercado said. “After that, we started talking about life, basically, and went out to lunch. We're very good friends now.”
Mercado's plans for the future include securing a position of economic leadership within the United States government—first within the treasury department and later as a political and economic policy leader in Puerto Rico.
In addition to winning a Truman Scholarship, Mercado is ranked among Puerto Rico’s top 10 racquetball players. He has been a racquetball aficionado since he was 14 and was the captain of Puerto Rico’s junior national team during the 2009 junior world championships. He practices three to four hours a day, six days a week, and aspires to join the national team in the coming years.