Merry spent 5 years in Washington's foster care system.

A refugee from Chin State, Myanmar, Merry Ruat and her brother came to the United States in 2007 after fleeing religious persecution of their dictatorship government. Without family, relatives, or knowing the language, they moved into their foster parent's home. With the help of Lutheran Community Service and the United Nations, Merry would not have found her family, but being in the American foster care system has placed a stigma on her. Merry wants to build a better reputation for foster care through programs, healthier foster homes, and learning from the foster youth experiences in care. Passionate about discussing ways entry into foster care can be prevented, Merry participated in the 2016 Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program where she shared her experiences with her Congressional member.

Currently, Merry is a full time student working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting. A hardworking student with clear goals for her future, Merry plans to be involved with the foster care program that helped her with plans to start a family and be a good parent.

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2017 Outstanding Young Leaders