The movie “Homeless to Harvard” – Grace’s goosebump moment
Grace: “Hi everyone, my name is Grace and I’m going to be sharing my goosebump moment with you. My goosebump moment is a movie I watched, “Homeless to Harvard”. It’s the true life story of Liz Murray. She came from a dysfunctional family, her father was a drug addict, her mother was a drug addict also. At age 9, she was already working to feed the family. Growing up was really, really hard for her. I think what snapped her back to reality, because she had to drop out of school, was when her mother died of AIDS and she did not want to end up like her parents. So she actually went back to school and graduated as a star student in 2 years. What would have taken her 4 years, she graduated high school in 2 years, and she enrolled for the New York Times scholarship to Harvard University. She actually got the scholarship. My goosebump moment was that part where she actually got the scholarship to Harvard University after stating her struggles growing up and she got the scholarship. So that’s my goosebump moment. Thank you.”
A true inspiration: Liz Murray goes from being homeless to studying at Harvard
The moment Liz receives the Harvard Scholarship, along with the entire film, is a tremendous source of inspiration for many who were not born with a golden spoon in their mouth, or have made an unfair start in life. “Regardless of the situation, keep going and reach for your dreams”, that’s what Liz Murray wants to convey.
Liz has been able to overcome the toughest obstacles through sheer determination and willpower. She did this by giving every problem a chance, as can be seen in the film with the series of encyclopedias that lay with the garbage. Moreover, despite the dire circumstances in which she was born, she did not harbor bad feelings towards her parents.
She chose to remember the good things and learn from the bad moments. This makes you stronger. She herself acknowledges that precisely because her parents showed her the alternative, she was determined to do it differently and, above all, not to continue on their path. Don’t look back.
Grace’s goosebump moment was when Liz got the Harvard scholarship. You can watch the moment in the video below, starting at 1:21:10
The movie “Homeless to Harvard”
The film is directed by director Peter Levins and the female lead Liz Murray is played by Thora Birch. It is a true story of Liz struggling to become a better person than what she saw in her parents. Growing up in the Bronx, Liz soon realized she belonged to a dysfunctional family with her sister and two drug addicted parents.
Despite the grim reality of her life, Liz managed to get excellent grades. This while she hardly went to school and was only present for the final weeks before the exams. After her mother decided to live separately from her father so that she would be less likely to reach for drugs, Liz found herself out on the street at the age of 15. Shortly afterwards, her mother died of tuberculosis and AIDS, which she contracted from sharing needles with fellow addicts.
Her mother’s death was like a wake-up call for Liz. It prompted her to go back to school and finish high school in two instead of the usual four years. Her teacher at school becomes her mentor who tells her that she is the best student in the class. After a trip to Boston college life with colleagues, Liz realizes how exciting the university is and that she would like to belong in such an environment. Among other things, this event motivates Liz to apply for a scholarship of $ 12,000 per year at Harvard University sponsored by the New York Times. The scholarship is specifically for needy, but deserving students. Ultimately, Liz wins the scholarship, is offered a job at the New York Times and her own apartment while in college.
More about “Homeless to Harvard”:
Liz Murray today is, among other things, a motivational speaker best known for her admission to Harvard College, despite having been poor and homeless for most of her childhood. Liz Murray was born on September 23, 1980 in the Bronx, New York City, New York. She is the daughter of Peter Finnerty and Jean Murray and the sister of Lisa Murray. From the age of 9 she was forced to work as a gas tapper to provide for basic needs, as both parents were addicted to heroin, among other things.
Liz hardly went to school due to the dire conditions at home. Her mother was virtually blind, had tuberculosis and was diagnosed with AIDS. She died when Liz was 15 years old. After her mother passed away, Liz chose to devote herself to her future and pass her exams. While she was graduating, her father also passed away from AIDS. Her intellect, persistence, and moving story ultimately earned her the grant to be admitted to Harvard.
After completing her studies, she also wanted to be and remain a source of inspiration for the less fortunate in America and the rest of the world. Her interview with Oprah and the multiple TEDx talks have given her a good platform to do this.
More about Liz Murray: