Woman Shares Homeless to Harvard Story
By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A national speaker took the stage before dozens of students at Capitol Hill High School Thursday morning.
Her name is Liz Murray and when she was a teenager she was living on the streets, eating out of dumpsters by day and riding on subways by night. But, a wake up call turned this student from homeless to Harvard.
Murray was homeless at 15 after being raised in poverty to a drug addicted mother and father. Her mother's death from HIV led the teenager to change her ways for the better. The student landed her high school diploma and won an essay contest with the New York Times and earned a full ride to Harvard.
Murray's message is not about being homeless or going to Harvard but about being anything you want to be when you put your mind to it.
"If we have lives where somebody is an alcoholic in the family, there's a tragedy. And they tend to be family secrets, but when I speak and put it out there and it's actually a lot more common that people are struggling and think sometimes students identify," said Murray.
"She did it with nothing and there's nobody to push her, no parents nothing and that's very inspiring," said Capitol Hill High School senior Luis Cortez.
Cortez is involved in student council, aiming to land straight A's and his peers are also aiming for higher grounds.
"My life compared to her life is not that bad. Too see where she was and where is now, she didn't give up and there's no reason for me to give up," said sophomore Karla Villalobos.