Featured Friday: Deanna’s Storyby Featured Friday | 2 weeks ago
Being born into a multi-award winning family, I have been exposed to a high level of creativity and knowledge at such a young age. My grandfather Ralph Mercado, who established his own company RMM, was a very successful Latin Record Label Producer/Concert Promoter. He worked with Grammy award-winning Latino artists such as Marc Anthony, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, La India & many more. He spearheaded the music industry and created a foundation for Latinos to appreciate their culture through music. My mother Debra Mercado (Management/Publicist) and my father Eddie Harris (Director/Editor) assisted my grandfather in various aspects of his company ensuring things ran smoothly and efficiently for these artists. Growing up surrounded by successful people, I knew there were two things I wanted in my life: to help those less fortunate and give back to my community.
In college, I challenged myself to figure out what profession could help me achieve these goals. Getting mixed signals from social media and my peers, I was confused and fell down a path of destruction for sometime. I started to question the people around me and wondered what my purpose was in this life. I knew I had a passion for communicating with people as writing came easy to me. But, it wasn’t until I was halfway across the world in Belize doing my graduating internship that I got an enlightening understanding of the youth and social media being our future.
Upon graduation, I came up with an idea to create a YouTube channel called “Chattin w| d”. This mentorship program provides the youth with informative, educational segments to gain a better understanding of what paths they can take to fulfill their dreams. On this show we cover 5 topics, Lifestyle, Culture, Current Events, Entertainment and Advice for the Youth. My talented family members help me create a vision for this show.
- My mother, Debra Mercado, produces talent coordination.
- My father, Eddie Harris, takes over the editing and directing portion of the show, creating different angels and lighting to maximize the visuals.
- My brother, Devin Harris, is the production assistant and provides the original musical beats for the background music.
- My sister, Delisa Harris, magnifies my beauty via her makeup and hair tips.
- And lastly, my good friend and stylist Daezha Deloatch helps me achieve my desired look for each interview I do.
Within my first year, I’ve interviewed Salsa Singer Tito Nieves, Fashion Designer Raul Penaranda, Creative Director & Fashion Editor Ebby Antigua, Covered Behind the Scenes at Raul Penaranda Fashion show @NYFW, Salsa Singer La India & many more. My goal is to build a platform, spread positivity and show the youth that through hard work and dedication they too can live out their wildest dreams. It has been a great success so far and I’m hoping this will broaden my horizons to other platforms.
^ check out some of the work I’ve done so far.
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Throughout this journey I want to tell the truth, create stories that resonate with people on every corner of the world. I strongly believe that, especially in today’s time, we need more Afro-Latinas in this field to encourage others to take action to enhance the world, follow their dreams and have a familiar face they can relate to on TV. I want to educate and produce passion in the youth by putting a face to an issue to help them find their purpose. I desire to travel all over the world and create stories that help children relate and inspire them to pursue their dreams. Nonetheless, I want to make them laugh and help them realize all the good this world has to offer.
P.S Ayesha if you’re reading this, I would LOVE to interview you one day. You are the perfect role model for our youth and I know you have a lot of inspiring knowledge to share!