Art has always been a part of Camila Merino. Through good and bad times, she utilized her creativity to express her individuality.
Ms. Merino began her life in Cali, the second largest city in Colombia. When she was eight years old, Camila’s father walked out on her family. Although she was shaken by the events, Camila grew closer to her mother and sister because of it. Camila’s mother began an online relationship with an American man, and he proposed. Camila spoke with her mother and sister, and they decided to move to the United States as a family. For Camila, it meant the opportunity for a fresh start.
When she first arrived in Minnesota, Ms. Merino found it difficult to adapt to her new home. She spoke very little English and struggled to develop a relationship with her stepsiblings. The language barrier made school even harder. In time, Camila acquired a group of close-knit friends and has found a community of fellow artists.
Currently, Ms. Merino is a high school student at Eden Prairie High School. In addition to being a student, she is an active member of Juxtaposition Arts—a community engagement group that empowers young urban artists.