Anyone Catch "Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story"?

It was on Lifetime™ Tuesday night, and I taped it and watched it last night.

It was pretty good, as Lifetime™ movies go. Some scenes were rather disturbing, but by the end I was quite moved and a little farklempt (sp?). It was touching, inspiring, and… words like that.

For those who don’t know, it’s about a teenage girl who’s homeless at age 15, pulls herself up by her bootstraps, and winds up with a scholarship to Harvard.

Two points on which I’m not clear (spoilers ahead):
[li]1) Where did she live during the time she was attending that alternative high school? She claims to still be homeless when she sends her essay for her scholarship, but the movie only showed her actually living on the street, cadging spare change, for about 15 seconds- and that scene took place well before she enrolled in her alternative high school.[/li][li]Why did she leave Harvard? The TV Guide article about the movie said “she wouldn’t tell us why.” Surely someone around here knows the inside scoop. My guess is that she learned there’s more money in speaking engagements and has decided to ride that train for a while… but I’m just guessing.[/li][/ul]

If you haven’t seen this movie, I heartily reccomend it. I’m sure Lifetime™ will be re-running it ad nauseum in the coming days.

I have to counter the recommendation to see this. Yes, I watched it. I was sucked into it as I flipped past it. I knew it wasn’t that good, and yet I kept watching. And I’m about to show just how sucked in I got…
I got the impression that she was actually homeless while she was attending the school - there was some comment in the narration that she figured out that the round trip of one train was 70 minutes, and with four round trips she could get off and be back at the school just a little early, where the teacher would let her in. I also got the idea that’s why she waited to mail the scholarship form - if she was homeless and under 18, they’d put her in a group home, but if she was over 18 then it wasn’t a problem.

From this story

So it sounds like she stayed wherever she could.


Personal Message from Liz Murray
For those of you who have been asking why I left Harvard, the school just really wasn’t a good match for me. My Dad is sick and I felt like I needed to be close to him. My sister, Lisa, and all my friends live in the Bronx and this is where I feel the most comfortable… where I feel at home. I very much want to continue studying film, so I am thinking about the NYU Tisch program or maybe Columbia University. I am looking into both. In the meantime, I am doing a lot of speaking engagements and revising my autobiography, which is due to be published next year.

“no stable home” “wasn’t a good match for me” - both meaningless expressions. I guess we’ll never know…

And we’ll probably never know how she found the school she went to (fairly exclusive) or if she was, in fact, a poor student in her early education.

A couple of my friends teach at Har-Vard, but they didn’t have her in classes and know nothing.