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جوري
06-24-2009, 02:25 AM
Homeless Student Heads to Harvard


AOL News
posted: 7 HOURS 14 MINUTES AGO
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(June 23) -- Peers called Khadijah Williams the "Harvard girl," or "smart girl" who enrolled at their Los Angeles high school just 18 months ago, but she never told them of the struggles behind her success: She was homeless.
Williams, 18, graduated fourth in her high school class with a GPA just under 4.0. It's an amazing feat considering she spent the bulk of her life on the street. She, her mother Chantwuan Williams and younger sister Jeanine Williams have been moving in and out of homeless shelters throughout California for years, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Skip over this content Homeless 'Harvard Girl' Shines


Brian Vander Brug, Los Angeles Times
4 photos




Khadijah Williams, center, sports her cap and gown while talking with her mother Chantwaun Williams, left, and her sister Jeanine Williams, 11, at her mother's storage room in Los Angeles. Khadijah, 18, graduated fourth in her class at Jefferson High School.

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Khadijah recognized her gift for learning as early as age 9, when she placed in the 99th percentile on state exams. She was soon designated a gifted student.
Her elementary educational path became rocky shortly thereafter because of constant uprooting stemming from her mother's money woes. She failed to complete the fourth, fifth and eighth grades; skipped the sixth and split seventh between Los Angeles and San Diego. In total, she attended 12 schools over 12 years.
Khadijah's intelligence extends beyond the classroom. Her years spent surviving pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers taught her how to avoid bad habits and seek mentors, counselors and programs to help her reach her goals.
James and Patricia London became involved with Khadijah through one of those initiatives, South Central Scholars. After her mother and sister vanished from the homeless shelter where they were staying, the Londons opened their hilltop home to a lonely Khadijah for the remainder of her 12th grade year.
James, an orthopedic surgeon, and Patricia, a nurse, helped Khadijah with the essays for her college applications, according to the Los Angeles Times. They also taught her valuable life skills like money management, table manners and grooming.
Her Harvard recruiter, Julie Hilden, said she was impressed with her scholastic performance and knew she was a top candidate. The challenge for the Ivy League school is to create a support network of faculty, counselors and a host family that will all help foster her growth.
"I strongly recommended her," Hilden told the newspaper. "I told them, 'If you don't take her, you might be missing out on the next Michelle Obama. Don't make this mistake.' "
After only seeing her mother sporadically during the last six months before her high school graduation, Khadijah found her and her sister at a storage facility in South Central L.A. where they last stored their belongings.
The "Harvard girl" modeled her hunter green graduation cap and gown and practiced switching the tassel for her fractured family.
"Look at you," her mother said. "You're really going to Harvard, huh?"
"Yeah," she said, pausing. "I'm going to Harvard."
For more on this story, check out the Los Angeles Times.

2009 AOL LLC. All Rights Reserved.


http://www.gnn.com/article/homeless-...rvard%2F539624



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Mar 19, 2009 4:50 pm US/Eastern
Homeless To Harvard Story Inspires Worcester Tech


Reporting
Ron Sanders
WORCESTER (WBZ) ― Click to enlarge 1 of 1
Liz Murray WBZ

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Liz Murray, who was born in the Bronx, went from homeless to Harvard and inspired a movie by the same name, gave an inspirational talk to 1,400 high school students in Worcester on Thursday. Ron Sanders, who was there, says some of the students identify with Murray's story and hope to follow her example of turning hard luck into hard work and success.

"It was a horrific situation," Murray told the students as she began the narrative that captivated her audience in almost perfect silence for the better part of two hours.

The spotlight in the darkness of Worcester's Hanover Theatre was a far cry from the dim light of the Bronx apartment where Liz Murray grew up with heroin-addicted, HIV-infected parents. She became homeless at 15 when her mother died of AIDS and her father moved to a shelter. She started high school at 17, was inspired by her mentor, finished in two years and was admitted Harvard.

Her father died of AIDS in 2006...after he left her a card which she recalled for the students, "and he said Lizzy, I left my dreams behind a long time ago but I know they're safe with you now."

"It's my dream to have my own family some day," Murray later told Ron backstage.

"I've seen drugs in my family. I've seen prostitution. I've lived around it every day. I've seen transactions of drugs...every day outside my house," said Worcester Technical High School senior Raul Roman.

"The reason I'm standing here in front of you today is because I chose the higher road. I chose the higher road which is available to each of us," said Murray during the crescendo of her remarks.

"It inspires me to keep on moving forward," said Roman.

The students from Worcester Technical High School were taken to the theatre by their principal, Sheila Harrity who wanted them to have a "pep talk" two weeks before MCAS exams. Harrity, who was a Big East basketball champion from Providence College, said she and her teammates never stepped onto the court without a pep talk. Her students had screened the Lifetime movie, "Homeless to Harvard" in weeks prior to Murray's visit. "What's your dream for these students?" Ron asked Harrity. "Whatever their dream is," she said.

"Anybody's story is a human story and anybody can identify with moments where we wanted to give up. We get cynical and think, 'is life ever going to be any different?' and I'm going to stand for, 'yes it can be,'" Murray told Ron.

"I think it was very amazing and she really touched my heart," said Worcester Tech senior Samantha Gonzalez.

"June 4 of this year, I'll graduate from Harvard in psychology," Murray sighed to the theatre packed with students, emotion and applause.

Another inspirational note, an anonymous donor paid the thousands of dollars it cost to bring Liz Murray to Worcester and bus Worcester Tech's 1,400 students to the Hanover Theatre to hear her speak.
(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)


http://wbztv.com/local/worcester/hom....2.963417.html
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Yanal
06-24-2009, 02:35 AM
:salamext:
Bismillahair Rahmaan Naraheem
Wow!SubhanAllah! Just under 4.0 means almost straight As in todays time where this is rare. Harvard costs about 300,000$ to get in for admissions,tutions cost more. This is how I am going to try to get in with a scholarship insh'Allah because I am a middle class guy. Make dua. Though I will need to increase my GPA.

Walakum Asalam Warakmatulah Wabarkatuh
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جوري
06-24-2009, 03:16 AM
It isn't about Harvard or any Ivy league.. it is about folks who whine about every little nook and cranny, when there are others out there who have it far worst and still manage to make it..

the girl on the bottom had both parents die of AIDS and was homeless.. if you put your mind to anything you can do it, that is the moral.. wanting it and working for it, instead of whining about life's little difficulties!

:w:
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Yanal
06-24-2009, 03:54 AM
:salamext:
Bismillahair Rahmaan Naraheem
Yes.People whine about the things they already excessively have while these two stories show the truth of how things can be accomplished by the will of Allah,and when they lose that abity they whine even more then when they had it. The main point is that thank Allah for what you have because he has given you that for a reason,and that reason varies depending on the person. May Allah guide everyone and allow everyone to accomplish their goals. Ameen.

Walakum Asalam Warakmatulah Wabarkatuh
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alcurad
06-24-2009, 04:01 AM
thnx for sharing :thumbs_up, it's quite inspiring.
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greenshirt
06-24-2009, 07:15 AM
though i recognize that hardships in life can really deter people from doing their best, if they make an effort and try, they can be just as successful as anyone else.

and one great thing about harvard is that they never deny anyone enrollment to their uni based on financial income. regardless of how poor or rich you are, they look at your grades first, not income. ah, you gotta give the liberal northeast some credit for that. *smile*
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Caller الداعي
06-25-2009, 06:45 PM
salam
i think this is a moment where we should ponder over Allahs bounties upon us and make thnx to all Hes blessed us with after all being raised up as a muslim is the biggest blessing!
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~Raynn~
06-25-2009, 07:23 PM
That was inspiring...we should, of course, be thankful for all the privileges and support we are given, but we certainly can't use poor circumstance as an excuse for not succeeding...
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Najm
06-25-2009, 07:30 PM
Originally Posted by Gossamer skye
It isn't about Harvard or any Ivy league.. it is about folks who whine about every little nook and cranny, when there are others out there who have it far worst and still manage to make it..

the girl on the bottom had both parents die of AIDS and was homeless.. if you put your mind to anything you can do it, that is the moral.. wanting it and working for it, instead of whining about life's little difficulties!

:w:

AsSalamOAlaikum WaRehmatuAllah WaBarkatuhu

SubhaanAllah!!!
That is trully inspiring!!

FiAmaaniAllah
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
06-25-2009, 11:05 PM
and one great thing about harvard is that they never deny anyone enrollment to their uni based on financial income. regardless of how poor or rich you are, they look at your grades first, not income.
Are you sure? The girl who was number one in my brothers grade didnt get to harvard cause she couldn't pay for it.
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Yanal
06-25-2009, 11:08 PM
^ and a true biography shows a great man getting rejected because OF income even if he was a excellent student.
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Whatsthepoint
06-25-2009, 11:11 PM
Originally Posted by Light of Heaven
Are you sure? The girl who was number one in my brothers grade didnt get to harvard cause she couldn't pay for it.
Did she apply for a grant or something?
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جوري
06-25-2009, 11:12 PM
Originally Posted by Light of Heaven
Are you sure? The girl who was number one in my brothers grade didnt get to harvard cause she couldn't pay for it.
number one people usually have various scholarships and/or financial aids.. people aren't just accepted for being independently wealthy.. Liz murray herself got several scholarships for writing and such ...
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
06-25-2009, 11:12 PM
Perhaps its all for show??? This letting homeless people in. Allahu Alam what goes through their mind.
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
06-25-2009, 11:14 PM
Originally Posted by Gossamer skye
number one people usually have various scholarships and/or financial aids.. people aren't just accepted for being independently wealthy.. Liz murray herself got several scholarships for writing and such ...
She was valedictorian, perfect grades...highest SAT scores in the school...why would she have been rejected. If she had financial aid or anythin, she shoulda got in.
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Yanal
06-25-2009, 11:19 PM
Maybe times have changed..
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جوري
06-25-2009, 11:24 PM
Originally Posted by Light of Heaven
She was valedictorian, perfect grades...highest SAT scores in the school...why would she have been rejected. If she had financial aid or anythin, she shoulda got in.
:sl:
I really don't know..
as an aside a colleague of mine from undergrad who had a perfect GPA was rejected from med. school three years in a row, then eventually got in at SUNY at downstate.. sometimes it is a matter of persistence and not taking NO for an answer..

Liz Murray had no money and no home address, but managed to get in.. she had no one to advocate on her behalf nor a rich uncle, so my guess is a person has to want it badly enough?

:w:
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Intisar
06-25-2009, 11:36 PM
Originally Posted by Light of Heaven
Are you sure? The girl who was number one in my brothers grade didnt get to harvard cause she couldn't pay for it.
:sl: Harvard is actually giving free tuition/scholarships to those who come from low income families. They announced it over the weekend. So if you're just entering your senior year of high school and make less than $60,000.00 a year, you have the opportunity to enter and leave Harvard (inshaAllaah) debt-free. :) Contact the financial office.
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Yanal
06-25-2009, 11:45 PM
60,000 is better then 300,000 two years ago.
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Whatsthepoint
06-26-2009, 09:47 AM
Originally Posted by Yanal
60,000 is better then 300,000 two years ago.
That's very interesting, despite the dollar getting weaker and weaker. And I guess private donations have decreased due to the recession.
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
06-26-2009, 01:38 PM
Originally Posted by Gossamer skye
:sl:
I really don't know..
as an aside a colleague of mine from undergrad who had a perfect GPA was rejected from med. school three years in a row, then eventually got in at SUNY at downstate.. sometimes it is a matter of persistence and not taking NO for an answer..

Liz Murray had no money and no home address, but managed to get in.. she had no one to advocate on her behalf nor a rich uncle, so my guess is a person has to want it badly enough?

:w:
Allahu Alam sis. It's possible she fought for it or she was just lucky. That or times have changed as Yanal said.


Originally Posted by Ameena*
:sl: Harvard is actually giving free tuition/scholarships to those who come from low income families. They announced it over the weekend. So if you're just entering your senior year of high school and make less than $60,000.00 a year, you have the opportunity to enter and leave Harvard (inshaAllaah) debt-free. :) Contact the financial office.
Hehe I'm already out of high school sis. I'm transferrin soon inshallah either to Stonybrook or St. Johns, preferably St. Johns for Pharmacy. I'm just guessing they changed it now. Allahu Alam, thanks anyway :D

:sl:
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جوري
06-26-2009, 05:43 PM
the most expensive school to attend in the U.S is G.W not Harvard!
I went there for one rotation.. it is very costly.

http://money.cnn.com/popups/2006/new...ges/index.html
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Yanal
06-26-2009, 06:02 PM
The schools that are expensive can be only attained by Allahs will and who he gave the wealth to. We should thank Allah for what he gave to us and that will be enough. Harvard only gives one scholarship per year. I contacted them by email and they told me some interesting facts regarding wealth.
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
06-26-2009, 06:32 PM
^^Indeed by only the Will of Allah.

What did they say exactly?
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Yanal
06-26-2009, 06:35 PM
They told me I could take the following options:Loans from Havard that will be put on my student card,take financial aid,and some other things.
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
06-26-2009, 06:38 PM
Yea but afterward you'd spend most of your time trying to pay it off. That would be rather annoying, for me at least. As for financial aid, they only give u so much.

I sound like I'm complaining now as sis Gossamer pointed out Lolll.
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