Nominated by Christina McCann
Meredith’s mother describes her as one of the bravest people she knows. Meredith was born physically different from what her brain says she is and spent the majority of her life fighting a conflict between her physical appearance and her mind. Meredith’s younger sister Juliette is a strong advocate and ally, supporting her in every way possible. When Meredith was nine years old, she finally found the courage to talk to her family about this internal conflict and finally become the person she knew had always been. This was probably one of the most liberating days of her life.
Meredith used to be quiet and sad, keeping everything bottled up inside. She would play in the backyard by herself on her rocks (large rocks) running back and forth and pretending to be the person she knew she really was. Those rocks have become a very important piece of her life. Now, it is like watching a flower bloom. She has become confident, outgoing, and not afraid to try something new. She is happy!
Meredith would be the first to say that all of the people around her deserve a lot of recognition for their support of her. Special recognition goes to Emerald Elementary’s amazing social worker, Miss Jolynn Yoshihara Daily. She showed Meredith how amazing she is, taught her strategies to help her with any conflict she might run into, gave the family resources, and most importantly accepted Meredith. Meredith has helped peers, family, neighbors and all that have met her to accept and love everyone as they are. She has been a role model for others without really knowing she is because for the most part, she does not want all attention on her. She simply wants the opportunity to embrace who she is, an almost 14 year old girl at her school. Her actions of standing up and saying, “This is who I am,” have been extremely impactful, empowering and brave.