Intern Joins Planning Commission Team for Summer

Every month, the Planning Commission highlights one of its staff or board members. Mercedes Carfagno, a summer intern who is finishing up her geography and planning degree, shared her journey to the Planning Commission and discussed her life philosophy, interests, and more.

Where are you from? The majority of my life I have lived in East Coventry Township and I grew up in Chester County. I also spent five years in Bloomsburg, Pa., attending Bloomsburg University, but I couldn’t stay away from Chester County and moved back after finishing school.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? I can recall wanting to be an astronomer. When I was little I believed their only job was watching shooting stars.

What was your first job? My first job was a cashier at the Redner’s Warehouse Markets in Phoenixville when I turned 16. I wanted to drive but cars cost money; therefore, I had to get a job for my first car!

What did you study in college? Throughout college, I had declared many majors within the College of Science and Technology, until I enrolled in a geography and planning degree. After my first planning course with Dr. Sandra Kehoe-Forutan, I realized geography and planning is where I belong.

Why did you pursue an internship at the Chester County Planning Commission? I came to the Chester County Planning Commission to extend my knowledge from previous courses taken. I wanted a better understanding of how the Planning Commission operates in real life and a chance to explore the different departments. It’s also a bonus to be close to my family again.

What three words best describe you? quiet, organized, and determined

What is something colleagues don’t know about you? My grandmom has a chicken coop and I enjoy being a helping hand when it comes to collecting the eggs or feeding them. Each chicken is a different breed and they are all named by a different family member. I couldn’t resist naming mine Nugget.

What is your life philosophy? Don’t pretend to be something or someone you’re not — it’s not the way to gain acceptance or approval from others. Be yourself.  🙂

What is your favorite place in Chester County? Marsh Creek State Park because there are so many outdoorsy things to do there. I enjoy walking around the lake, picnics, or taking the kayaks and paddleboards out on the water.

Where would we find you after hours? After hours there’s a good chance I am cuddling with my kitty and watching Netflix, but on the weekends you’ll find me at the shore hanging out in the sun with friends and family.



Nugget turned out to be the biggest (and fastest) chicken, but here is a photo of Q-tip, another chicken, and me. 🙂