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Christina  Meredith

Christina Meredith

Abuse & Homelessness Survivor, Youth Advocate & Author of CinderGirl

Biography

Empowering others with her inspiring life story, Christina Meredith survived sexual, mental and emotional abuse, incest, trauma, aging out of foster care, poverty and homelessness to forge a life committed to helping others. Through strong faith, hard work, and creativity she went on to become Miss California, enroll in college, found her own nonprofit foundation, and pursue the path to becoming a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. As told in her book, CinderGirl: My Journey Out of the Ashes to a Life of Hope (now under development to become a major motion picture) and during appearances on the Today Show and before speaking audiences nationwide, Christina’s story celebrates the transformative power of education, and the potential within all of us triumph over adversity. "My entire story is about hope, faith, hard work, achieving the dream and the purpose that you have been given in this life, and not allowing things to deter you, because circumstances change," she says. "With hard work and a little faith, you can make them change." Read More >

One of ten children born to a mother that suffered from both mental illness and substance use disorder, Christina endured years of traumatic abuse. This included sexual abuse by an uncle and constant physical and psychological abuse by her mother, who locked her in a closet for days at a time. By the time Christina was in high school, the cumulative effects of long-term trauma had made it nearly impossible to learn. "The teachers and junior ROTC program at Allen D. Nease High School in St. Augustine, Florida literally saved my life," says Christina. "It really took a village." Faculty brought her food, provided extra tutoring, and paid the fees for her to participate in sports. Once Christina finally revealed her situation at home, they also worked to get her into foster care. After graduation and aging out of foster care at 18, Christina lost her supportive foundation. She headed for California, living in her car for almost a year while working three jobs to survive. Praying every day, she relied on the power of her strong Christian faith. Christina caught the eye of a pageant recruiter who encouraged her to compete for Miss California. She won. Since then, Christina has used her platform to advocate for abused children all over the country. She also founded The Christina Meredith Foundation, which will advocate for foster youth to ensure that they receive basic necessities, health care, trauma care, and education. Christina currently serves in the U.S. Army and is earning her bachelors in political science with a focus on foreign affairs. She will commission December, 2019 and plans to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Determined to change the way America handles foster youth, Christina travels the country as a foster care activist, mental health advocate, and popular inspirational speaker. She is committed to helping others heal the deep wounds of trauma. Christina has shared her inspiring story and mission with thousands, speaking to audiences ranging from universities to churches to business groups. With faith, fortitude and a fierce commitment to never giving up, Christina encourages all of us to look within, overcome any obstacle, and ultimately, find the strength to achieve our highest goals and dreams. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Keep Fighting the Fight

Hope, Hard Work, Mission Accomplished!

CinderGirl: My Journey Out of the Ashes to a Life of Hope

Creating a Life of Hope

Life From Abusive Foster Care to Beauty Queen to US Army

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty and Abuse

Speech Topics

CinderGirl: My Journey Out of the Ashes to a Life of Hope

Drawing upon her moving and inspiring book, CinderGirl, which is being developed into a major motion picture, Christina Meredith shares her heart-touching and uplifting life story. Leaving behind abuse, trauma and homelessness she went on to become Miss California, enroll in college, found her own nonprofit foundation, and set out on the path to becoming a commissioned U.S. Army officer. Sharing both her inner and outer journey into healing, profound faith and a powerful commitment to helping others, Christina encourages us to reach further into our own personal courage and find the help to heal our deepest wounds. Tailoring her presentation to focus on specific areas of her story, Christina believes that any obstacle can be overcome—we just have to find the power to believe and the strength to never give up.

It Took a Village: How School & Teachers Saved My Life

By the time she reached high school, the chronic abuse that Christina Meredith had endured had crippled her ability to learn. Traumatized by sexual abuse by her uncle and psychological and physical abuse by a mentally ill mother with substance use disorder, she actually believed that she had lost her capacity to learn. Then, teachers saved her life. From buying her food when she was too hungry to concentrate to spending hours providing her with tutoring to catch up, graduate, and eventually go on to college and career, their caring made a difference. Finally faced with a solid support system, they also gave Christina the courage to speak out about her home life and find safety and stability in foster care. In this inspiring talk, Christina talks about how teachers literally saved her life and how their caring inspired her to help other children surviving trauma or aging out of foster care.

The Four D’s: Tenets to Achieving Success

Dignity. Decorum. Discipline. Discretion. In her life, Christina Meredith went beyond just conquering adversity and surviving trauma. She also discovered tenets of success that took her from Miss California to college, writing a book, starting her charitable foundation and a soon-to-be commission in the U.S. Army. Grounded in a commitment to never allow self-pity to get in her way, Christina’s “Four D’s” are a code to live by. In this highly motivational talk, Christina shares her philosophy and the life experiences that have shaped her approach to achieving goals and success.

Trauma Healing: Wholeness after Rape & Sexual Abuse

As a survivor of sexual abuse, Christina’s journey has taken her from tragedy and trauma to a commitment to healing others. A key mission of her nonprofit Christina Meredith Foundation is providing trauma care for foster children. In this brutally honest talk, Christina speaks openly about her experiences and how she found peace and healing through faith, therapy and community support. By sharing her own dramatic story and journey out of fear, desperation and darkness, Christina hopes that others will be inspired to pursue their own path to healing and wholeness.

Finding Purpose in Pain: Christina’s Journey of Faith

Through all the years of abuse by her mother and uncle — even before she read her Bible or found comfort in Scripture — Christina always had a strong sense of the Lord’s love and presence. As a homeless teenager, living in her car, she prayed every day. In many ways, Christina has seen her prayers answered. But her journey was not without profound pain — pain that she vowed she would use for a higher purpose. In this inspiring talk for Christian audiences, Christina shares the strength and meaning that her faith has given her in times of profound abuse and suffering — and how she has used it to do the Lord’s work in helping others.