Bringing Derby to Life Through Helping Others

Apr 14, 2021 | Derby, Fashion

Merlin Cano
Youth Activities Leader, Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs

Merlin Cano has firsthand knowledge of the benefits of the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs. The nonprofit organization provides educational opportunities and resources to equine workers and their families. Merlin heard about the learning center shortly after she and her family relocated to Louisville from Guatemala in 2012, and she enrolled her parents into ESL classes offered at the center. In addition to working with the kids at the center, she is a horse hot walker and assists with food distribution for the equine workers.

Why her job matters: The work at the Backside Learning Center is important to the community, because the clients we serve each day are also the same people who are working behind the scenes of the Kentucky Derby.

What excites her about Derby: Seeing the fastest horses run in unison. I also love to see everyone betting on their favorite horse and screaming as if they were the ones running the horse to the finish line.

Merlin is wearing: Hat, $875, from Attitudes by Angie; Dress, $275, Earrings, $125, both from Rodes for Her, 502.753.7633; Shoes, $90, from Rack Room Shoes.
Styling: Fitz Fitzgerald @ritzy_fitzy
 Hair: Andria Wint and Laken Staser, Blown Blowout and Beauty Bar @blown.blowouts  Makeup: Tia Mao @makeupbytiamao
The Brown Hotel

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