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A Conversation with Dr. Sasha Mercedes: From Overcoming Challenges to Advocating for Change

Meet Dr. Sasha, a beacon of strength and resilience whose life’s journey has shaped her into an inspiring force to reckon with. Driven by an unyielding power that propels her to surmount challenges, Dr. Sasha has defied the odds and embraced her unique path. From the whirlwind of early parenthood to fleeing her home with mere days’ worth of baby supplies, her story is one of triumph against adversity. She provides vital mental health treatment as a licensed psychotherapist, offering solace and guidance in an ever-changing world. Now, as she ventures into the realm of education and advocacy through her School Board candidacy and non-profit, Sister’s 2nd Chance, Dr. Sasha embodies the transformative potential of unwavering determination.


Q: How would you describe your SwagHer? What makes Dr. Sasha, Dr. Sasha?

Sasha: I would describe my SwagHer as a power that spews through me and gives me all the strength I need to accomplish all my successes and goals despite my challenges. All the experiences and things I have overcome make me who I am. I look at things differently from some, and I see and understand that my pain and struggles made me who I am today, and I find gratitude and embrace resilience.

Q: Life hasn’t always been easy for you. You publicly share your story about having two children by age 19 and having to flee your home with only a few days worth of baby supplies. How did you overcome so many challenges?

Sasha:  I would have to say that first, it was God and family support. To be honest with you, I don’t know if I was dreaming or if I was on the outside looking into my life then because it is so crazy to me how you can be in the midst of a whirlwind but still find the strength to keep pushing, and that’s what I did. One thing I will say is to overcome something, you must refrain from looking back and allowing your past to block your blessings.

Q: What exactly does a licensed psychotherapist do? Why would people seek your services? 

Sasha: Well, a licensed psychotherapist provides mental health treatment such as counseling and tools to help people to have a more stable well-being or mental state. After COVID, it’s self-explanatory why people will seek my services, but that isn’t the answer. The answer is this; everybody goes through something in life, whether you’re seeking a therapist, doctor, or friend. We all find peace and have a healthy conversation or someone to lend a listening ear.

Q: What is new with Off the Script? 

Sasha: Well, Off The Script is going through some changes. I have decided to take this platform and move it to Streamyard and Anchor which distributes to many podcast platforms. We will still focus on mental health, life issues, and world issues, but the thing is, we will no longer have limitations on what day or time of the week we can air. Now, we’re able to work around our schedule and others to be able to reach more people.

Q: We see you are running for a seat on the School Board of Paulding County (If not, please add the correct position and/or county). What sparked your decision to run? 

Sasha: I am indeed running for School Board At-Large in Paulding County. To be honest with you, being a mom sparked my decision to run because I noticed that our children and parents needed a voice. It took a step forward for me when I realized and finally was able to embrace and understand that their administrators, the teachers, and the entire village surrounding schools in Paulding County need a voice and direction. This doesn’t mean that they do not know how to do their job, but what I mean is sometimes people need grace and experience to understand where everyone’s mindset and response is coming from. I think that as a community, we’ve gotten away from reunification and being a village of support for each other, and that is what I believe is essential to help us help our children be the best they can be.

Q: Why is this of significance to you? 

Sasha: This is significant to me because I am a mother, and I know what it feels like to ask for help and feel like I’m not being heard. But I also understood that maybe the person I sought assistance from was unaware or unable to know how passionate I was about the need. I want to be the voice for those situations and help bring more clarity to this county.

Q: You also have your non-profit, Sister’s 2nd Chance. What projects are you all working on?

Sasha: The upcoming project that we are working on right now is our Turkey giving event that we do every year, and we are also planning to give more toys away for Christmas this year. We are hoping to partner with a local homeless shelter for women in Douglas County, and we would like to provide or continue to provide mental health counseling services and be able to offer any additional tools, such as hygiene items or clothing, to that facility. We are looking to open a new clothing closet and a food bank in Paulding County.

Q: In what ways can the community support what you are doing?

Sasha: The community can support us by being a volunteer. We need more help with planning, which is the most challenging part of running every aspect of our nonprofit. What we have thought about doing in the past is allowing people to join a membership that would support our cause, and what we’re going to do is revisit that in the next few months; you will see the opportunity for anyone to join as a member and gain benefits for being a member with us and also gain a chance to do community service and be a part of our unique mission.


Connect with Dr. Sasha below

Website: www.drsashamercedes.com

Instagram: @drsashamercedes

Facebook: Dr.Sasha Mercedes

Twitter: drsashamercedes

LinkedIn: Dr.Sasha Johnson

Francheska Felder
Francheska Felderhttp://swagheronline.com
Francheska "Fancy" Felder is the founder/publisher/EIC of SwagHer Magazine. She is a -Single mother of 3 -Libra - Trapping scribe -Lover -Mental health advocate - Country girl -Proud, liberated Black goddess ________________________________________ Long Bio: Francheska “Fancy” Felder is the owner of Fancy’s Thoughts and the award-winning publisher and editor-in-chief of SwagHer Magazine, a lifestyle and empowerment publication for the Black woman who likes to keep it real in life and business. The magazine doubles as a PR boutique offering public relations services and visibility coaching, and Fancy strategically executes brand campaigns for Black women CEOs, coaches, and authors. The former teen mom started the company in 2010 while working as an exotic dancer, but soon after, her love for empowering Black women led her to abandon that lifestyle. She has received awards for her work as a positive news publisher and journalist telling the stories of Black women and other informative news that the Black community finds relevant, including the severe topics of Black mental health and domestic violence. The podcast she co-hosts with Arnya T.M. Davis, Theories & Thoughts, also continues these conversations. Fancy publicly speaks about her battle with bipolar disorder with hopes of helping others begin their wellness paths. She also shares her mental health story in contribution to the I Am a Black Woman- Next Level anthology, an Amazon Best-Seller. In the summer of 2022, RallyUp Magazine, a mental health magazine, featured Fancy as their cover story, where she opened up about receiving her diagnosis. The McComb, Mississippi native is part of Facebook’s independent journalism project, Bulletin, where she publishes The Higher South, and she was a member of the NABJ Entrepreneur Academy powered by CafeMedia in 2021. The Glambitous Guide to Self-Love, Peace, and Confidence contributor is an avid learner and creative. Currently, she is attending Southern University A&M College, completing her bachelor's degree and rearing her three young adults. Fancy enjoys learning more about spirituality, Black history, and feminism in her free time, along with yoga and walking.

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