Jeffrey graduated with honors from Cal State Fullerton in 2010. In 2012, he completed his post-baccalaureate studies at UCSD. While in San Diego, he participated as a research assistant at the Autism Center of Excellence –one of a handful of centers in the nation with this designation. He has been drawn to the field of developmental disorders ever since his work as a respite care worker for a child with Angelman Syndrome. Mercado intends to complete his medical education and public policy training through the UCLA PRIME program, a five-year dual M.D./Master’s degree program focused on developing leaders in medicine and public service. He is driven to make significant contributions to improving health policy and health care delivery to underserved communities. Specifically, one of his future goals is to lead a non-profit center for pediatric rehabilitation. The mission of the organization would be to have a sustained impact on children’s lives through research, advocacy, and leadership. His vision is to reshape policy pertaining to access to rehabilitative services for all children through collaboration with community partners and published research outcomes.