Junely Merwin spent 5 years in California's foster care system.

With the odds against her, Junely Merwin found her way to prevail through the foster care system. At the age of 15, she entered care as a teen mom—naïve, scared and vulnerable. In many of her placements, she experienced abuse, neglect, lack of assistance and guidance. Despite her trials and tribulations, Junely has been able to take advantage of California Supervised Independent Living Program and secure stability for her family. During her sophomore year, being a single parent made it difficult for her continue her education, but she has been able to overcome that and is currently enrolled Cerritos College with a 3.0 GPA. She is working to receive an Associates degree in communications and continue her education at California State University to pursue a Social Work degree.
In the meantime, Junely advocates to improve foster care for teenage mothers. She has participated in panels and been featured in newspaper articles that support Senate Bill 528, which addresses issues single-mothers face. She enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, listening to motivational speakers and most importantly spending time with her son.

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2015 Outstanding Young Leaders