Profile: Liz Murray’s Inspirational Story from the Streets to an Ivy League School

We all run into obstacles in our lives, but we don’t all react the same. Some people will find a creative way to maneuver past the challenge, and others will sit down and let the obstacle get in their way. Students might run into small obstacles to their success when they get a bad grade on a research paper or they might be dealt a huge obstacle, like their parent’s unemployment or a death in the family.

For many kids, their home life and school life is their world. It can be difficult for these kids to put the future in perspective when they see with a limited lens, and therefore, hard for them to see life will move on if they can get past a bump in the road.

A good way to help students develop a far-seeing lens is to use an inspirational figure as an example so they can visualize the journey of perseverance.

Liz Murray is an inspirational speaker who graduated from Harvard, but not before enduring a tough life and overcoming many obstacles. She was born to two drug-addicted parents, both who eventually contracted HIV, and was homeless at 15 years old in New York City. Despite living on the streets, she was able to graduate from high school and earn a full ride scholarship to Harvard University.

Watch this video of Liz Murray talking about her memoir, Breaking Night.

Have you ever overcome an obstacle you never thought possible?

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