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Advocate Profile: Ezequiel Mercado

[Image of Ezequiel standing top of the stair ramp, outside of an aircraft, hands in the air and Jet Blue written in the airplane tail]

What is your favorite memory/ moment that brought you lots of joy? One of my most treasured memories goes back to only a year and a half ago. Ever since I could remember I have always had a passion for flying! I wanted to be a pilot. I wanted to fly. I had an obsession with airplanes. January 2019 I became a flight attendant. It was the most happiest day of my life. It was a journey I will never forget. I went into the industry not knowing if I was able to do the job due to my disability. It was such a scary feeling. The training was a month long and one of the hardest training I have ever attended. I passed with flying colors and not once felt like I couldn't do the job many think you need two hands to do!

What barriers or challenges do you face in this movement? Being a flight attendant can be a little intimidating. Not knowing what people will think, from coworkers to passengers. I've had such positive feedback going into this industry. My biggest obstacle is running into people who question my ability. However, its also my favorite moment when I get to educate people and help them learn to understand that I'm no different.

What do you want those who do not identify with disability to know? I want them to know that we are out here, we are proud, we are different but we are ALL CAPABLE!

What are your next steps? I want to be more involved in advocating for disability awareness. I would love my platform to show others how alike we all are despite the difference they see.

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