Mercedes Newton is a model for little girls of the twenty first century. She is both intelligent and independent. However, while empowered women of 2018 tend to focus on their own path, Mercedes doesn’t just speak her mind and look to strengthen herself. Day to day she uses her time and effort to invest in other people. Regardless of gender, race, religion, or social status she will sit down, have a conversation, and truly listen. Tim Poe, a close friend of Mercedes, lit up when asked what makes her special and launched into praising her kindness: “She loves to know everyone, she knows everyone’s name no matter who it is, [whether] you’re the shy kid or the popular kid, she knows who you are, she knows your name, she knows you in depth because she really cares about everyone.” Very few people have the power to make so many students and staff feel valued, but Mercedes Newton is one of them. Thank you, Mercedes, for using your strength to invest in this community.