Christina Meredith is a woman of many titles: college student, member of the U.S. Army, former Miss California, and most recently, a published author.
For many years, Meredith could also be identified by another title: “ward of the court.”
At age 16, Meredith was removed from the care of her mother and uncle, an environment that included a wide variety of abuse. Meredith was one of ten siblings, and after reporting the long-standing abuse to authorities, she was placed in foster care.
While being removed from her home spared Meredith from the abuse she had been enduring for years, she soon aged out of the foster care system, leaving her homeless and living out of her car. She was 18 years old.
Despite the obstacles life continued to throw her way, Meredith refused to give in. She drove across the country in her car that doubled as her home, and in a stroke of good fortune, was scouted to participate in the Miss California Competition. In 2013, she won the competition.
From that moment, Meredith decided to use her platform and determination to reform issues within the foster care system. And that’s exactly what she’s doing.
On March 5th, Meredith appeared on The Today Show, talking about her upcoming book, CinderGirl, but also speaking to the number of foster youth who age out of the system with little to no support, many of them becoming homeless, just as Meredith was.
Meredith called the situation a “travesty,” explaining that if every church in the U.S. committed to eradicating the issue of homeless foster youth, they could do it.
Her appearance on The Today Show serves as a call to action for the American people, especially faith-based organizations, to open their eyes to the need of young adults in the foster care situation. Further, Meredith’s story points to the fact that every life has value, and that no life is too far gone to be redeemed and restored.
Meredith’s interview can be viewed here:
Meredith’s memoir, CinderGirl hit shelves on March 5th.