From Homeless to Harvard 流浪女成功記

Julie Hu DVGS 10th Grade

A turtle could run faster than a rabbit, a bee could cause more damage than an eagle, and a homeless person could be as successful as a wealthy person. The reason why it is possible is very simple: perseverance, determination and hard-work. The movie From Homeless to Harvard is about a girl named Elizabeth (Liz) Murray, or Liz. She was born in a household where her parents were drugs addicts, they were living in extreme poverty and never had 3 meals a day. She did not attend school for most of her childhood. Although everything was against her, she never gave up. She was able to turn her life around and became successful with positive thoughts. No matter how challenging and tough our life is, as long as we have determination and apply good effort, we will turn things around and succeed.

Liz’s problems started because of Liz’s parents’ addiction to drugs. They were so addicted that they would spend all their money on drugs. The family was extremely poor that they would skip meals. Liz was eight when she started to work in order to fill up her empty stomach. Life was unjust but no matter how foul it was, she never gave up, never gave into the temptations while living with a such family. She never tried drugs either when she had the opportunity every single day. She tried really hard to get into a high school even though she was homeless. The fact that she did not go to school for the majority of her childhood did not stop her from doing well in her studies or weaken her will to learn.

Liz did not wait for God to throw fortune at her, nor did she wait for scientists to invent grains that would grow money. She took the responsibility to take care of her own life. It was due to knowing that her existence was meaningful that her determination grew which led her to success. There is always a way to turn life around, and only fools do not know that. Everyone who knows of her story might also be aware that Liz was anything but a fool. She was only a child when she changed her destiny.

From the very beginning, Liz had to be on her own and yet she never complained to her parents.  Liz still maintained family reverence by taking care of her mother when she contracted AIDS and we should all learn from that. No matter how bad life gets, there’s always a way to change it for a better future. However in order to change our whole existence, we have to be extremely determined and have faith in what we are doing. We must also understand that we control our own life, no one else is responsible for what we are doing. We are the only master of our actions, we cannot always rely on others. Liz understood these principles right from the start. This movie is also related to what we have learned in Buddhism class.

The independent, mature, smart, filial, responsible and hard-working, Liz had most of the qualities required to be a successful person. She is a very good example since she shows us that no matter what the situation is, we must not take drugs to escape pain. Drug is the poison that ruined her parents’ life and destroyed her childhood. Even though Liz’s parents were not really good parents, Liz held family reverence very strictly and never abandoned her parents. Later, her mother died from AIDS.  We have learned that using shared syringe to inject illegal drugs is one of the fastest ways to spread HIV.  Learning to follow the moral guideline of no sexual misconduct is also another lesson to learn in life because one can contract HIV through syringes and improper sexual activities.  In short, illegal drugs, improper sexual activities and HIV are all interrelated; we should avoid them. Liz wisely kept herself away from all the wrong and unhealthy things her parents did which helped her become the successful woman she eventually become.

Everyone has the ability to be successful in life, determination is the key.  We must have the determination to do the right thing, and be responsible for our actions. Everyone has the capacity to improve our life style and environment as long as we are not lazy or absentminded. It is not easy to become a successful person but with effort, everything is possible regardless of the situation is. As long as we all have determination and responsibility, we can definitely make a change – a change that will turn our entire life around.



胡月琦  文  培德女中十年級                    謝雨珊  中譯  培德女中十二年級






其實,每個人都有成功的潛能,毅力是關鍵的成功要素。只要我們不偷懶怠惰,每個人都有改善自己生活環境的能力。要成為一個成功的人並不是件容易的事,但是只要我們在任何環境中努力付出,做對的事,對自己負責及保持堅忍的毅力,每個人都有能力可以改變 — 一個讓生命有所轉折的改變。