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From the Streets to Success

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?

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  • 0 Comments

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    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    PittsburghPenguinsFanatic
    "aftershock" wrote: "NicolletteA" wrote: no. and you sound like the marketing people that stop me at the mall.  :/ lol, I'm not, i just kno someone whos making a new app and wanted to see if any1 would use it.   BTW what do u say to the marketing people at the mall? No. I don't like those people at the mall. Sometimes, they ask my family and I (usually directed at my mom and sister, but sometimes at me, too. Even though I'm under 13. Not for long though.) if they want their hair done. And sometimes I'm so tempted to say, "No thank you. I did my hair today. Do you think I want it done?" But of course I never do. It's kinda disrespectful. So we just usually say No thank you. My mom, sister, and I now have a solution for that (my idea when I was maybe ages 9-11) Don't make eye contact with them and pretend that they aren't there.
    reply about 10 hours
    BookWorm86
    This is GREAT advice! Thx a lot StephRox!:) I have a younger brother & he can be EXASPERATING at times lol! Great advice!!:D
    reply about 11 hours
    Arenl
    Arenl posted in Family Issues:
    My little brother is annoying as ever, but I have to handle him. He is my brother after all.
    reply about 11 hours
    Arenl
    Arenl posted in Family Issues:
    @Sophieeee I definitely agree with you.
    reply about 11 hours
    Sophieeee
     Loosing a parent is hard, your dad knows that and I'm sure that he misses your mom just as much as you do. Whether you explain to him how you are feeling or not, you should know that your Dad will always love you and admitting to him how you feel isn't going to change that. Although it is completely understandable how you feel, you need to let your dad move one eventually. It's not fair to him if he has to spend the rest of his life alone. Even though you might not see it, its a good thin that your dad is finally feeling comfortable enough to date. It doesn't mean that he is letting go of your mom or that he will forget about her, it means that he is moving on with his life. You lost your mother and he lost the love of his life. Dating other people will probably start off being just as hard for him as it is for you. My advice is that you talk to your dad. Let him know how you feel in the most gentle and understanding way that you can. Don't flat out say that you don't want him dating anyone, tell him that you still miss your mom and its hard to see him with other people. Let me know how it goes, good luck. :)
    reply about 11 hours