Kw-logo-smaller

From the Streets to Success

Elizabeth Murray at her grad.
Elizabeth Murray

While some kids don't always like what mom or dad is cooking for dinner, they don't have to worry about where to find their next meal. Elizabeth Murray grew up with drug-addicted parents and often didn't have warm clothes or food. "It would be common for me to go into my kitchen and see my parents shooting drugs into their veins," Elizabeth told 20/20. "When they were done, there would be blood spots all along the walls from where they had missed veins."

When Elizabeth was 10 she found out her mother had AIDS. A few years later, while most teenage girls were worrying about what to wear, Elizabeth was looking after her Mom, who's AIDS had become full blown and were complicated by tuberculosis. Her Mom died at age 41 in 1996.

At 15 Elizabeth was homeless. Her mom was gone and her dad was on the street. After her mom's death she knew things had to change and she knew it was up to her. "I connected the lifestyles that I had witnessed every day with how my mother ended. And if there was anything I could do about it that would not happen to me. So I went back to school. But mind you, I was homeless," explains Elizabeth.

Her high school didn't know Elizabeth was homeless, not that she cared. She took an extra load of work, studied on the stairs and made excellent grades. When she read about a scholarship offered by The New York Times she quickly applied and won. She will receive $12,000 for every year at college. Elizabeth was determined to go to Harvard and the university didn't turn her down.

Right now Elizabeth lives with her little sister in New York while she waits to become a full-time student. She isn't too sure what she wants to major in yet but plans on pursuing theater, film and literature. She's working at the New York Times right now and they offered her work for the summer. Elizabeth has gone from homeless to Harvard.

Do you know any amazing kids? Is there anyone you think Kidzworld should profile?

Related Stories:

  • Lawnmower Boy
  • Madonna Lends a Helping Hand
  • The Duffle Bag Princess
  • More Great Job Advice
  • >
    >

    readers voted!

    Comments

    there are 0 comments

    Please login or register to add comments


    like this article?
    Sign up now to get more just like!

    latest videos

    What's your favorite TV Show?
    • Grey's Anatomy
    • America's Next Top Model
    • The Office
    • Lost

    related stories

    Dear Dish-It in the forums

    Joer
    Joer posted in Style:
    "Kirsteeeeen" wrote:You're not allowed to give out website names here, sorry. Why not? :) I think it would be perfect if we could recommend websites we like ! 
    reply about 1 hour
    blackpearrl
    blackpearrl posted in Style:
    a red Cole t-shirt and a green short with bear cartoons on it :3
    reply about 2 hours
    Cutiebee12
    Cutiebee12 posted in Style:
    green t - shirt and green shorts.
    reply about 2 hours
    Charulata
    both
    reply about 2 hours
    Pink_Kitty
    I love my parents the same but I argue with my mom way more than my dad.
    reply about 3 hours

    play online games

    Candy-100

    A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

    Big_icon_(7)

    Have you ever fancied being a ranger like those fantasy characters you love so m...

    Big_icon_(4)

    You run across the city in a car chase with the police officers.

    Big_icon_(6)

    The evil master kidnapped all of your friends!

    Big_icon_(5)

    Tic Tac Toe is back!