Mercedes Trent joined Sasakawa USA as a Program Assistant in July 2018. Prior to that, Trent worked as a Program Assistant for the Japan Center for International Exchange in New York City. From 2014 to 2017, Trent taught English on the JET Program in Kanazawa. She also worked with city hall to provide English language translation and support for the inaugural Kanazawa Marathon in 2015. Following her time on the JET Program, Trent worked as a translator and business consultant in Osaka from 2017 to 2018.
Her interest in Japan began in childhood when she was first exposed to Japanese culture through her mother’s work at a Japanese manufacturing company in rural Kentucky. This connection ultimately led to her participating in a summer homestay in Shizuoka Prefecture when she was 12 years old, after which she decided to pursue a career in U.S.-Japan relations.
Trent graduated with a B.A. in Asian Studies and Religious Studies from Western Kentucky University. During her final semester, she studied abroad at Kansai Gaidai University. Following graduation, she attended the Mandarin Training Center at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei on a Huayu Enrichment Scholarship.