She Was Raised With the Help of Her Aunt and Grandmother
Meena's mom, Maya Harris, became pregnant as a teen and gave birth to her daughter on Oct. 20, 1984, which just so happened to be her sister Kamala's birthday. Because she was only 17 at the time of Meena's birth, Maya relied on her older sister and their mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, to help raise her daughter while she pursued her undergraduate degree at the University of California-Berkeley and put herself through Stanford Law School. "I grew up surrounded by these strong, brilliant women who showed me what it meant to show up in the world with purpose and intention," Meena told Glamour in January 2020. "I just idolized them — these incredible women who were all around me."
Because her mother was so young, Meena also got to watch Maya pursue her career from the very beginning. "I had a 17-year-old single mom," Meena explained to Harper's Bazaar during an August 2020 interview. "So I got to see her go to law school. I got to see her go through her first law firm job. And same [with] Kamala. I saw so much of my mother and my aunt, and them becoming powerful women in the world starting in their 20s. I had a front-row seat for all of it."