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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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GirLovesPiggy
GirLovesPiggy posted in Style:
This thread has been moved. Click here to see the new thread.
reply 2 days
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
@rainbowpoptart  When I originally talked to my father, I was given the opportunity of good timing to bring it up. Luckily, there was no anger like I was partially expecting and I remained calm, which I definitely wasn't expecting. My fathers main concern was just worry and having seen other teens run away from something later getting themselves in trouble. He even brought up how he had run off at 18 and joined the Air Force, which I already knew. But, with this round, there is no perfect time to bring it up and he's always busy or we're having to do something so it's just very frustrating to find at least alright timing to bring it up, if that makes sense.
reply 6 days
rainbowpoptart
My advice on this may not be the best because I haven't personally dealt with this yet, but... Parents, or guardians, get used to having their children around. You're [usually] with them for 18 years, which is a long time, so of course they - or in this case, your father - is going to feel like he's lost something very dear to him once you move out. To me it seems like he does truly understand that you're growing up. He just doesn't want it to happen. He knows that you're leaving soon - he just doesn't want it to be soon. Parents/guardians who are close to the children usually feel that way. If you're really so concerned, talk to him about it again, in a similar way you have done already. Or perhaps just a "Wow, my birthday is just around the corner". Once you do move out, visit him as frequently as you're able to and feel like. I'm sure he'll appreciate it, and it'll help you maintain a close relationship with him.
reply 7 days
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
Usually I wouldn't come here for advice, but I am really needing it. To sum it up, my birthday is in 21 days. Not only will I be leaving KW, but home as well. My mother has made it to where I have had plans to leave since I was around 11 or 12; so about 7 to 8 years. I won't get into everything, but we'll just say that my mother and I do not have a good relationship at all. My father on the other hand, I am very attached too and always scared of upsetting him. Things are not always very good between us at times, but we rarely fight. When we do, it is always bad nor ends well. So, having plans to move out are very scary to me and causes me plenty of anxiety that fights are going to break out when I have my help to get my belongings out.   For the record, I have talked to my father about leaving, why I want too, etc. But, more in the sense of that I want too, not that I am. Which, in a way, my parents understand I'm moving out as well as already pretty much know where I'm going without my mention. But, I don't think they, my father especially, understands how soon that is despite my saying of I want too when I'm 18 or when I say, "Soon." It doesn't help that my father told another that his "little girl is growing up" on him and that he is scared of the day I go because he will be alone. Which makes me feel guilty despite the fact I won't even be that far away. How should I talk to him once more and go about this or even when? I really want him to understand that I have thought everything through and that I will be in safe hands.
reply 7 days
-Oracle-
-Oracle- posted in Friends:
Preferably non human.
reply 7 days