Miss California US delivers message of hope

Historic City News readers attending the April 7th Foster Care Pre-service Training Orientation will have an opportunity to listen to one of St Augustine and St Johns County’s local foster care system success stories; 2013 Miss California United States, Christina Meredith.

If you are a St Johns County resident, interested in learning more about foster care for children and families, you should attend the free orientation session April 7 at the Health and Human Services complex located at 1955 US-1 South in St. Augustine, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Contact Joy Meyerpeter at 904.209.6131 for more information.

Meredith, a St Augustine native, will share her personal journey from growing up as a foster child to thriving as a successful advocate and leader in the non-profit, child welfare arena.

As one of eight children in a family that battled the challenges of child abuse and neglect, Meredith lived with numerous relatives until eventually being placed in St. Johns County Foster Care where she remained until age 18. She Lacked traditional family support and had minimal resources at her disposal; yet, Meredith overcame homelessness and made her way to California to make a fresh start.

Her deep appreciation for the misfortunes that led her to pursue work aimed at helping young girls and women, gives context and standing for her to engage others who are addressing similar life challenges.

Today, Christina Meredith says she is proud to support the St. Johns County Foster Care Program by promoting and strengthening child welfare initiatives aimed at recruiting quality foster homes and ensuring support for youth who “age out” of care.

When the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners convenes their regular meeting tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m., April 1st, at the St. Johns County Administration palace, located at 500 San Sebastian View in St Augustine, Meredith will make brief comments. She is hosting a fundraiser benefitting foster youth awareness at 5:30 p.m. at Table 1 Restaurant, 330 A1A North in Ponte Vedra Beach. Ticket information is available on her facebook at www.facebook.com/christinameredithfans.

There are occasions to help local children and families by becoming a foster parent, adopting a special needs youth or teen, or many other ways. The Foster Care Orientation session and Pre-service Training classes, hosted by the St. Johns County Family Integrity Program, will be held on consecutive Monday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. beginning April 21.

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