Friends of Children Banquet & Silent Auction (04/2020)

Event details

  • April 4, 2020
  • 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • 1700 NE 63rd St. Oklahoma City, OK
  • 405-215-1400

Friends of Children Banquet & Silent Auction

Guest Speaker:

Christina Meredith

Abuse & Homelessness Survivor, Youth Advocate & Author of CinderGirl

About Christina Meredith

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 and hard work, 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.”

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 and mental health advocate. 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.

Topics:

  • CinderGirl: My Journey Out of the Ashes to a Life of Hope
  • It Took a Village: How School & Teachers Saved My Life
  • The Four D’s: Tenets to Achieving Success
  • Trauma Healing: Wholeness after Rape & Sexual Abuse
  • Finding Purpose in Pain: Christina’s Journey of Faith
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