Former Ms. California is about to be an officer in the U.S. Army

The Former Miss California winner switched coasts and clothes- and is now wearing Army fatigues in Florida.

Christina Meredith didn’t come from a charming background: prior to becoming Miss California, she grew up in the foster care system and was homeless for a spell. During her life, she suffered abuse, including sexual assault.

“After I won Ms. California in 2013, I really wanted to utilize that moment to set up another platform, which is to reform foster care,” she told the 107th Mobile Public Affairs. “Since 2013, I have been vocally advocating awareness for the foster care crisis, because it is a national crisis. Having half-a-million children in foster care as wards of the state government, which is underfunded, is an atrocity.”

Meredith is currently working to earn her commission with the Florida National Guard, and is currently assigned to the 146th Expeditionary Signal Battalion in Jacksonville, Florida.

Her supervisors have lauded Meredith for her professionalism.

“She was a big asset during Hurricane Irma,” said First Sergeant Warren Erdman, the 146th Headquarters Company senior enlisted member. “She was able to assist with tracking personnel and when the Colonel came in and needed a report, he was given good, true and accurate information.”

Even her fellow ROTC cadets say Meredith is on-point and always ready to keep the ball rolling, no matter what.

“She is a very well prepared person, so if something goes wrong, she is right there, ready to assist,” said Cadet Shyan Christie, a fellow ROTC cadet. “Even when she isn’t feeling her best, she kept her spirits up and stays positive.”

When she’s not in uniform, the 31-year-old is studying Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies with the ultimate goal of getting into politics. She’s also authored a book, titled, Cindergirl.

For Meredith, every day is a push to further her civil service- be it defending her country or helping children.

“This country gives us the opportunity to dream,” Meredith said. “The backbone of our nation is the American dream and you can choose to change your outcome even if you get a bad hand. So I decided to rise from the pain and poverty and work to make tangible changes for my nation and community.”

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