About Me

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Hello everyone! My name is Mercedes Harvey and I am your current Miss California Teen Achieve 2010. This is a blog I will update weekly of all the great events and fantastic/life changing opportunities that serving as your queen has allowed me to have. I will be uploading pictures and videos and then telling you a summary of what they are about. What I hope to accomplish by this blog is to help young women become interested in participating in the Miss California Teen Achieve Pageant. It is truly a one of a kind scholarship pageant based on scholastic achievement and community service, not just beauty. It will increase your self confidence, help you possibly win scholarship money and meet amazing friends for life, and teach you valuable assets about yourself. Don’t miss out! :)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Salvation Army Appreciation Breakfast

This morning, the Salvation Army invited me to their Volunteer Appreciation breakfast. Because of the amount of people that had volunteered for the East County Toy and Food Drive, as well as those that helped make it happen such as driving trucks to pick up toys and such, as well as ringing bells in front of stores such as Wal-Mart and grocery stores throughout the East County. It was so great to see all of those volunteers there and to know that they had helped make the east county toy drive successful. There were some awards given for people that had worked 60 hours and above! The director had his kids walk over to every person that received an award and hand them a cookie tin and a certificate. The most touching moment in the entire breakfast was when the director gave a older gentleman a trophy of a salvation army bell engraved in honor of the man’s wife who had passed away. She had raised over $11,000 for the Salvation Army by being a bell ringer in front of Wal-Mart for many years and this past Christmas had taken ill from working out in the cold and ended up passing a few days after the holiday season. It was so sad to hear the story about this woman, and see how distraught and sad  her husband was. But what was most amazing was that this woman cared so much for other people and the children that she was helping raise money for food and toys for, that she put herself and her own well being as a lower level of importance. It really made me think-do I serve people this way? As queen, do I get more caught up in myself and the things that relate to me than I do about the people I should actually be serving and helping? It was a really humbling thought and really taught me that sometimes helping other people is more important that anything. Because a simple act of kindness from you could save someone’s life and give you a fulfilling purpose in your own.

Monday, January 24, 2011

San Diego County Credit Union Ribbon Cutting

This past weekend, I went to the San Diego Credit Union Ribbon Cutting in Oceanside. I was the first queen to arrive at the bank, with my dad, at around 10 am. There were already a lot of people that were at the bank and I couldn’t wait to go and meet them. When I first arrived, I introduced myself to the manager of the bank who had a list of people that were “V.I.P”, and although I wasn’t on the list, he apologized and quickly put me on.  Then I saw that on the list, Miss Oceanside 2010, and Miss Oceanside Princess 2010! I was so excited, I haven’t seen Lauren or Elise (the queens) in such a long time, it would be such a treat to do an event with them. I went around, inside the bank and introduced myself to all the bank managers. The mayor of Oceanside, the designer of the bank itself, and a few other very important people were at the event and were so pleased to talk to me. I even saw Ron Cook, San Diego photographer, who is a good friend of mine and I was so happy to see him there. When the other queens arrived, we hugged and talked for a bit until we were all called out to the front of the beautifully decorated bank and told where to stand. Both of the Oceanside royalty stood on one end of the ribbon, while I stood on the other. Ron, instructed us on how to pose and smile for the pictures so that he would be able to get a lot of us just smiling and then some of us cutting the ribbon. I really love how comfortable he makes everyone feel, and how his personality always makes people smile-which is perfect for pictures. After all of us had been photographed for several minutes, I turned around and began to just talk with a few councilmember’s and people I hadn’t met yet. It was so amazing to see just how happy and thankful they were for having me there. Being queen has taught me a very valuable lesson about support. When you are going to support a community, what matters most is the fact that you are actually there. It’s not always about giving money or gifts: because sometimes the most important gift is just you being there.

With Ron Cook, the fabulous East County News Photographer!

With Elise Cruz, Miss Oceanside Princess :)

The mayor of Oceanside

Cutting the ribbon!

A fan :)

Being silly :D

Liberty Income Tax Grand Opening

On Wednesday, My mother and I went down to Oceanside for the ribbon cutting for Liberty Tax Service. It was being held by a member of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, Lori Lawson and they were going to have a small party for their grand opening. Surprisingly enough, when my mother and I arrived at the establishment, we were the only other people (other than the workers themselves) who were there to support the grand reopening .Sure, there were a few passer buyers who helped themselves to a delicious hot dog, homemade cookie, chips and soda, but none of them really stopped in to take a look. Lori and her husband were extremely generous when it came to being warm and welcoming to us. They let us spin a wheel to win some prizes, and my mom and I won a T-shirt and a tattoo. Not a real tattoo of course, just one of those kinds where you add hot water and it sticks on your arm. We took a lot of pictures, especially because all of the workers were dressed in “Statue of Liberty” costumes. I have never met or heard of a tax company where they dress up and have fun. Usually the thought of taxes is really long and boring but Liberty Tax really makes it user-friendly and has fantastic customer service. Lori was really open to explaining to us what makes her business different from other tax companies, and I was really impressed. She even took us on a tour of her business and explained what all the different machines and boxes in the back room meant and what they did. Overall, it was a very low key and relaxing ribbon cutting. I cannot wait until I get to meet Lori again, for she was such a wonderful woman to meet and be around. It is encouraging to see strong, business like woman working in the economy and making it stronger every day.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My First Time Giving Blood!

On Tuesday, January 18, 2011, I went with my mother to go help with a blood drive at a fitness warehouse by Palomar College. It was a surprisingly warm winter morning and we had about 20 people on the list for the day. However there was a huge gap between the first person and the second person (about an hour and fifteen minute gap). I decided that because I am now 17, I wanted to give blood-for the first time! My mom could take care of anyone that came in and I was completely free to go on in. There are three steps to giving blood. The first is the room where they test you and ask you questions. My finger was pricked to check for iron, and I was happy to find out that I am not anemic like my mother. They also checked my blood pressure and body temperature to make sure that I am not sick. After they saw that I was healthy, they put all my information into the system and then left me alone in the tiny room to answer the questionnaire. Basically it was a bunch of questions where I could answer just Yes or No to. They asked me about specific diseases, if I had been to certain countries and things like “Have you gotten a piercing or tattoo in the past 12 months”. It only took me about 3 minutes to finish the questionnaire, and when I was finished I went to the Tables to get my blood drawn. I have never been afraid of needles so I wasn’t really worried when she pulled out the needle. The nurse first cleaned my arm for 30 seconds with iodine and then put the needle in quickly! It hurt for only a split second then it was over. I didn’t even realize that there was a needle in my arm till I look down and saw a tube attached to my arm. The nurse showed me how to squeeze onto a stress ball to help pump the blood out. It only took me about 5 minutes to fill the blood bag. After I had filled the bag, the nurse instructed me to stop pumping and she took everything out. Then it was time for step three: recovery.  For 15 minutes, I had to sit down and have fluids and snacks to make sure I wasn’t lightheaded or going to pass out. I ended up doing neither and the nurse let me go after 15 minutes. When I stepped out of the bus, I was so proud! I had just helped save a life by simply giving some of my blood. It was such a good feeling-a little bit of me could help save someone’s life: one little drop at a time.

Theres my name!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Jr. Parade

The following day, on January 15, I had to get up and ready to go for the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade that was going on downtown in San Diego. My family came along with me, including my aunt and her boyfriend who let me use their car once again. When we arrived down by Petco Park which is where the parade was taking place, I drove in and immediately put on my crown and banner to get ready to visit the other parade participants. I me the lovely ladies from a group sorority, men from the Marine Corps, firemen, border patrol, people from the car clubs, Miss Orange County, the people for Diversity group and even a trolley car. I could not believe how nice everyone was-especially considering how hot it was. Although it was a beautiful day, it was quite hot and the parade was rolling along a little slow. In fact, the Geico gecko mascot (a man dressed in a gecko suit) had to sit in the shade under a tiny tree just so he wouldn’t overheat. The best thing about the parade was by far the children. There were little kids everywhere that wanted to talk to me, take pictures and even get my autograph! It was so touching and rewarding to see the looks on the children’s faces when I talked to them and asked about their lives. While I was waiting for the parade to start, this one little girl kept coming up to my car just to look at me and ask me questions. Her friend came by and gave me a balloon that she had, just to give me shade in the sun. It was absolutely adorable. When the parade finally started and I drove through the crowd smiling and waving at everyone, I realized just how lucky I am to have the title that I do. It is a once in a lifetime experience and every time I am out there, meeting people, it’s a moment in my life that I will never forget. I will never take my reign for granted because its one of the best things that has ever happened to me in my life. It has truly given me the most amazing experience I could ask for.

Those were ALOT of balloons!!

Signing my first Autograph!