Liz Murray Research Paper

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Liz Murray’s mother and father were drug addicts living in the Bronx. She was born in 1980 with drugs in her blood because her parents religiously uses cocaine and heroin. (Murray 11). A vicious cycle of her parent’s use of drugs and mental illness seem to carry throughout several chapters. Murray and her sister survives on egg and mayonnaise sandwiches, toothpaste, and even cherry-flavored chapstick. They reside in a freezing cold and filthy apartment. Her parents just focus on how to maintain their high. From the time she was five, Murray recalls, we were a “functional government-dependent family of four” (Murray14). Her mother was legally blind and a schizophrenic, which qualifies their family for welfare to only pay for her parents’ drug ritual. Throughout, the years of drugs the girls are brought around other users and Liz receives abuse from Ron while her mother is gone to the liquor store one night. Her mother also eventually breaks the news to Liz that she has HIV. The drugs drive a wedge in between her parents which leads them to separation. This seems to really affect Liz along with the new diagnosis of her mom. Liz begins skipping and failing school. Child welfare takes Liz and places her in a …show more content…

Instead of letting everything go, she starts acting, making one empowering choice after another, no matter how hard and challenging life seems. Acceptance into an alternative high school Humanities Prep provides Liz with the support, community, and accountability she needs to thrive. With an abundance of encouragement from Perry and other exceptional teachers, she earns her high school diploma in two years rather than four years. Murray states, “It was possible I could change everything”. (Murray 251) She saw that anything she set her mind to could be possible. As human beings we adapt and overcome with the right will power. Thus, going from homeless to Harvard is possible no matter what the

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