From working as a paramedic to serving in the military, Yesenia Violeta Mercado of Killeen has built quite a career, yet still finds time to give back to the community.
Mercado was one of a dozen women from across Texas honored as the 2013 Women of Distinction by the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce at an awards ceremony in May.
Mercado, an office manager at Insurance Agency Mall and treasurer of the Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce, and the other women were recognized for their professional accomplishments and community contributions.
Juan Rivera, Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce chairman, nominated Mercado for the award because of her work with the community and the Hispanic chamber, he said.
“The reason I believe she got elected was that she got two tours in Iraq,” he said. “She also used to build homes for the poor people when the disasters would happen and also worked for the Red Cross. … She is one of our heroes.”
Mercado was born and raised in Peru and moved to Texas 13 years ago. In Peru, where she was a paramedic, helping the community was a way of life.
“It’s just the education I received from my parents,” Mercado said. “I was raised in a way that I learned to share at a young age, coming from a Hispanic family. So I learned to be around a lot of people in need.”
Rivera said Mercado represents the entire Hispanic community and women of the Army.