She Went From Homeless to Harvard
When most people go back to the old neighborhood, they visit the house they grew up in...Liz Murray visits the benches and public parks she called home.
"We'd kind of lay out on this bridge and go to sleep," she tells INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent.
It's remarkable that she survived her childhood...and what's even more astonishing is that she graduated from Harvard University! She received a scholarship, but she didn't even have an address.
Murray tells her amazing story in the book Breaking Night. At age 15, she was living on the streets of the Bronx in New York City, often sleeping on the subway or with friends on a path of grass off a busy roadway.
As dark as her life was, it was easy compared to life with her parents.
A Lifetime movie called Homeless to Harvard showed how tough it was for Murray and her sister Lisa, living with two drug-addicted parents and eating out of dumpsters.
"I'd get to school with lice in my hair, holes in my clothes, dirt on my skin," remembers Murray.
Both her parents died of AIDS and for two and a half years, the streets were home.
What saved her? For one thing, she never touched drugs...not after she'd seen what they did to her parents.
Then, she applied herself in school, cramming four years of high school into two years to make up for lost time, and getting excellent grades under impossible conditions.
"I threw all my books in my bag and carried them around the city wherever I slept," she explains.
A field trip to Harvard opened her eyes to the world. Not only did she get accepted, she won a full scholarship, and graduated last year. Now she travels the world, giving motivational speeches.
"People are quick to tell you what you can and can't do," she says. "Nobody knows what's possible until they do it."