Liz Murray grew up in New York in a struggling family of four, as both of her parents struggled with IV drug addictions. At 15 years of age she found herself homeless after caring for her mother who died of AIDS; her father also would die of AIDS some years later. Determined to finish school, she managed to get straight A’s while she slept on park benches and on the underground trains. Liz was able to find a scholarship that would pay $12,000 a year for college and was accepted into Harvard where she graduated in June of 2009. Her book, Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard, made it on the New York Times bestseller’s list and was also made into a Lifetime movie. Since then Liz has become a counselor, is the founder and director of Manifest Living and is a motivational speaker. Liz’s story is a great reminder that with perseverance, determination, and dreams people can accomplish great things despite very difficult upbringings.
Watch this video of Liz Murray talking about her experiences: