Mecca McPherson is the child of two military veterans. Born in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, she saw many different army bases before her mother and she settled in a small navy town off the Gulf Coast of Florida. Developing as an only child who frequently changed schools, Mecca found it difficult to create cultural connections and form meaningful partnerships with other youth until reaching high school. There she founded a Black Student Union (BSU) and fully realized the liberation that results from having an outlet to positively affirm one’s identity.
The school she attended was largely and intentionally segregated and she began to understand that, in the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, “We must build our own power”. While serving as president, she and BSU members engaged in student service learning opportunities and educate themselves about their cultural history. Ultimately, this experience led her to attending the illustrious Howard University and studying Maternal and Child Health Education.
After graduation, Mecca served as AALEAD D.C. Summer Programs Intern wheres he realized her passion for youth work in a non-health field. She was compelled to continue working with AALEAD as a Maryland Middle School Program Coordinator and to continue building by being a resource to youth, providing them with tools of empowerment to stave off oppressive systems, and to support youth in consciously choosing the kind of person they want to be.