Posted on May 5, 2017

Homeless to Harvard: A Visit from Liz Murray

Best-selling author Liz Murray came to our South Side Boys & Girls Club to speak with teens about her story and their individual ambitions.

“She went the hard way and it motivated me. Even if I come from a bad background, I can still be somebody and do something with my life” was the epiphany of 12-year-old member Isaac on Tuesday. Members from multiple Clubs gathered this week at our South Side Club to listen to the transformational words of Liz Murray, the New York Times bestselling author of Breaking Night and the inspiration behind the movie “Homeless to Harvard.”

Murray’s visit was stemmed by her interest in the Reeb Avenue Center, home of our South Side Boys & Girls Club, because of its unique and progressive approach to holistic care. Her tour of the Boys & Girls Club facility was guided by Stacey, our Youth of the Year, followed by a discussion with members ages 12 and older. Murray described her tumultuous past of being the daughter of drug addicts, knocking on neighbors’ doors for food, and sleeping on park benches. After several years of homelessness, Murray shared with members, she committed herself to being a straight-A student and eventually attended Harvard with the support of an instrumental high school teacher.

After discussing her approach to overcoming adversity, Murray was invested in hearing about our teens’ plans for the future. Teens shared their dream colleges and careers, and Murray encouraged members to seize opportunities presented by Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus, including college visits and career-oriented field trips. Murray’s parting message was for members to embrace each day as an opportunity for self-improvement.

Interested in learning more about the Reeb Avenue Center? Watch below!