Homeless to Harvard: Teen works hard to meet goals
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WHDH) -- A homeless teen who was abandoned by her parents and called a high school dropout didn’t let challenges stop her from living her dream -- she’s going to Harvard.
Dawn Loggins, 18, is on the right road now, but getting there was rough.
She is making A’s in school and earning a living as a custodian at her high school -- and on her own. Her challenging life began when she lived with her grandmother.
"There was trash all over the house. She never really explained to me like that it was important to shower. That is was important to take care of yourself, so I would go months at a time without showering. I would wear the same dress to school for months at a time,” Loggins said.
That’s when the teasing and bullying started.
“They would say you are pretty, pretty ugly. It actually got so bad that for a point in middle school I would go home every day and just cry,” she said.
At age 13, Loggins started living with her mother and stepfather, but things didn’t get any better.
“There would be times we went without power or water for months at a time.
I remember doing my homework by candlelight because I am that determined to succeed,” Loggins said.
When she enrolled at her high school she was listed as a dropout because she missed two straight months of school. She worked hard taking online courses so she could catch up. Now she is enrolled in advanced placement and honors classes.
Loggins says her dream was to attend an Ivy League school.
"When I was younger I looked around at my family and I saw the neglect, the drug abuse, the bad choices and I saw my family living from paycheck to paycheck and I just made a decision for myself that I was not going to end up like my parents,” Loggins said.
She is getting some scholarship money from Harvard. The rest she will work for and hopefully the community will step in -- they already have.
“The generosity of this community is amazing,” she said.
As this Harvard-bound teen starts a new life she can say dreams do come true and giving up doesn’t pay off.
"No excuses it depends on you and no one else,” said Loggins.