California Delegate

Merissa Arias

Merissa  grew up in Mira Loma, Calif, but was placed in McMinnville, Ore. for two years when she was 16. After reaching out to other foster youth and learning common faults in the system, she started her advocacy work in 2020. Melissa is hoping to learn more about issues that directly impact the lives of foster youth. As she prepares to head to Washington, D.C. she wants to learn the work that goes into decision-making. A fun fact about Merissa is the 21-year-old has been to 10 countries and 25 states. The mantra she lives by, “You’ve got to be stronger than the story.”

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