Antonio Merrick was born in rural Brunswick, Georgia to a single mother. His mother worked her way out of poverty and ultimately became a federally trained security officer at the Kings Bay Nuclear Submarine Base in St. Mary’s Georgia. However, at the age of 12, his mother passed away and he became an orphan.
Antonio moved from relative to relative and from school to school and even found himself homeless on and off since middle school until he graduated from college. Education and learning were his motivation and that is what helped him get by. Working for temporary labor agencies during and after high school helped him in so many ways.
After graduating from high school, he went to Kittrell Job Corp Center where he met Goldie Johns, a nurse at the center. Ms. Johns embraced and cared for him as if he was her son. She handpicked his college and even provided financial assistance for him to start college. This was the first time Antonio met someone who believed in him as much as she did. When she passed away in 2011, her family asked him to speak at her funeral. It was not until he met all her family, he was able to gauge how much Ms. Johns cared and believed in him.
Ms. Johns always said Antonio would be president one day, that may be the reason he studied Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. While in college, he was also the president and co-founder of the political science club, president of the international relations club, delegate during two model NATO conferences as well as a member of the campus academic quiz bowl team. Antonio also interned at the John William Pope Civitas Institute in Raleigh, NC.
After graduating from college, Antonio joined the Army and served as an award and personnel clerk with the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard” in Arlington Virginia. In less than 2 years of military service, Antonio graduated from Army Recruiting School as the most junior service member of his class. Mr. Merrick was also awarded for participating in the State Funeral of President Gerald R. Ford and other unit competitions. After honorable military service, Antonio worked for the American Legion as a National Field Service and Claims Rep on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
While working as a Field Service Rep with the American Legion, he conducted and coordinated inspections and investigations of Veteran Healthcare facilities nationwide. He also wrote, edited and published reports which were distributed to all members of Congress and the President of the United States. Also, Antonio worked at the Veteran Board of Appeals as a Veteran Benefits Representative in an administrative law setting.
Antonio also served as a Veteran Employment Representative with the Virginia Employment Commission. During this time, he served as a Human Resource Task Force Member with the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Veterans Employment Initiative, Task Force Member with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services V3 Program and as a Secretary with the former Prince William County Veterans Council.
Graduate of the Prince William County Police Citizens Academy and 2014 winner of Leadership Prince Williams and Potomac Local's Forth Under 40 in Government & Public Affairs. After over 10 years serving the military veteran community. Antonio has dedicated the rest of his life to helping other Americans succeed as he has.
Antonio Merrick holds a Masters Degree in Administrative Leadership from Central Michigan University in Mt Pleasant Michigan, Graduate Certificate in Commercial & Government Contracting from Villanova University and an A+, Network+ and MCTS Certificate of Completion from George Mason University.