Liz Murray’s Journey from the Streets to Harvard

May 14th, 2009 - 12:11 am ICT by GD  

Liz Murray lost her mother and her home at 15, and is now attending Harvard University. She is also the woman who is portrayed in the Lifetime Movie “From Homeless to Harvard”. As a girl she lived with her parents, both of whom did drugs and did not take very good care of their daughter. Liz, on her part avoided school where she was known as “the smelly kid, who itched of lice and had dirt on her skin” and instead read up an encyclopedia every day while caring for her ailing mom.

At 15 Liz lost her mother to HIV and had to live on the streets. But she chose to fight back. She decided to finish school and went back to high school in her late teens. One thing led to another and Liz decided she would go in for higher education after school. She visited the Harvard University with some classmates and wanted to apply there. Her teachers, encouraging as they were, told her that while it was difficult to get into Harvard it was not altogether impossible. She made it to the honor roll but finances were still in the way for her. This girl could barely afford a meal a day, and college tuition was another league altogether. But Liz Murray, being the survivor that she had become by then, chose another route. She applied for The New York Times scholarship hoping that her difficult past would help her win it and pay for college.

It did. When Liz turned eighteen she was given $40,000 every semester from The New York Times Scholarship and Harvard University opened its gates for her. She was on national news with her homeless to Harvard journey and inspired more people who were down and out like she had been. She is scheduled to graduate from Harvard in June, 2009.

And what does our heroine say about this? She says, “Do not let your story stop you. You can always choose the way of laziness or of achievement.”

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