Melissa Gutierrez headshot

Melissa entered California’s foster care system when she was an infant. After enduring seven foster homes and three failed reunifications with her mother, she was taken in at 17 by a school friend, who she remains close to and considers family. Melissa chose to appreciate her challenges as an opportunity to empower a new generation. She is completing a double major at San Diego State University in Sociology and Psychology, with a minor in social work. She also volunteers on campus, and is applying to graduate schools for a master’s in social welfare. A bright, active individual, Melissa looks forward to facilitating change within the system as a youth advocate. She also enjoys hiking, traveling, and meeting new people. Melissa is a student, artist, adventurer . . . and a foster kid.