Jessica Merino is a Senior Program Associate for the Reproductive Health Equity Project for Foster Youth - also known as RHEP - at the National Center for Youth Law, where she works to advance systems that normalize, promote, and support the healthy sexual development and bodily autonomy of young people in foster care through policy, program implementation, and youth-centered partnerships.
Jess is a passionate advocate for reproductive rights, equity, and justice. Prior to joining the National Center for Youth Law, she served as the Development and Communications Coordinator at Ibis Reproductive Health, where she worked to secure funding and disseminate a global research portfolio through a justice and equity lens. Previously, she served as editorial assistant for Ms. Magazine, reporting on sexual and reproductive health issues. Jess received a bachelor's in community studies/public health from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Jess was born and raised in the Bay Area, where she loves to enjoy the San Rafael farmers market and surf Bolinas or Ocean Beach...when the waves aren't too big.