There’s a whole lot to learn about Liz Murray but let’s simply start with this: she knows why stable relationships matter to at-risk kids because she was one herself. Her life was transformed for the better by mentors who refused to look the other way. Her conviction that these kind of relationships can change other kids’ lives, as they did her own, underpins everything we do at The Arthur Project.
Liz is an inspirational speaker who is notable for having been accepted by Harvard University despite being homeless in her high school years. She was born in the Bronx, New York to poor and drug-addicted parents, both of whom would later contract HIV. She became homeless just after turning 15, when her mother died of AIDS in 1996 and her father moved to a homeless shelter.
Despite her late high school start and lack of a stable home, Murray began attending an alternative high school, graduating in two years. She was awarded a New York Times scholarship for needy students and was accepted into Harvard University. A made-for-TV film about Murray’s life, Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story, was released in 2003. Liz’s bestselling memoir Breaking Night was published in 2010. Liz credits two key mentors in her youth as the needed support and foundation in transforming her life.