Thursday, May 2, 2013

Homeless to Harvard

Homeless to Harvard..........Sounds like two different worlds connected by a bridge. I was just surfing for movies and was attracted by the title. It is a story of a homeless teenager who gets into Harvard! An incredible story of creating a destiny exactly opposite of what could have been.

What is even more incredible is that it's  a true story. Liz Murray (Elizabeth Murray) and her sister were born to parents who were drug addicts . Walking into the kitchen and witnessing her parents giving themselves shots with needles and blood splattered on the walls was a part of her upringing. Her mother once tried to sell her sister's coat to a drug dealer to procure coke. Liz was a brilliant student but she dropped out of school. Her mother had never gone to school as she ran away from home at an early age to escape her abusive father. Liz's life changed when her mother died of AIDS and she became homeless. She realised that she is going on the same path as her mother. She decides to go to school . Takes extra classes to complete four years of high school in two years. She is still homeless but she doesn't let the school know. She works to eat and sleeps on the subway. She is determined to change her life.

The turning point comes when she starts looking for scholarships to go to college and finds about the New York Times scholarship. She writes the essay and posts it one day before the last date. She is called for the interview and wins the scholarship.

Despite of all the hardships Liz Murray has no trace of bitterness towards her parents. She always loved her mother dearly and still does. Her story is beautiful and inspirational for a lot of us who are tied down by our tiny hardships.

Liz Murray graduated from Harvard. She is married and recently had her second child, a daughter she named after her mother. She has written a book ' Breaking Night' and is an inspirational speaker who  runs workshops to help people discover and construct better lives for themselves.

The drug dealer ,whom her mother tried to sell her sister's coat had refused to take it. He instead gave her mother a coin . Her mother had come home frustrated and threw away the coin. Liz kept the coin which had the serenity prayer inscribed  on it's back. She considers it a source of strength and a beautiful memory of her mother Jean Murray.


Would love to have your comments/suggestions....