National/World

NC teen goes from homeless to Harvard

Friday, June 08, 2012

High School graduation is a proud day for any student. But it is particularly sweet for one North Carolina teenager who was abandoned by her parents and worked her way through school.

And she is now heading to Harvard.

As with most high school graduates the moment when Dawn Loggins received her diploma was filled with emotion.

"I was about to cry when everyone stood up and was screaming, it just felt amazing," said Dawn.

For Dawn, the road to graduation was filled with some unusual obstacles.

One day last summer when she was just 16, she came home to find her parents had abandoned her. She was homeless; left to support herself.

"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 that I was not going to end up like my parents," Dawn said.

But then she got a job as a school custodian, while working through advanced placement and honors courses.

"I remember doing my homework by candlelight because I am that determined to succeed," she said.

Not only has Dawn succeeded, she is headed to Harvard University in the fall where she will major in Biology.

At her graduation in Shelby, North Carolina, she embraced the family that came to celebrate with her.

"She's an amazing kid, and she's accomplished more than I could ever hope in my life, and I'm very proud of her," said one family member.

"It's amazing that she's graduated and that she is going to Harvard," said Alexis Sweazy.

And the 17 year old is already giving back. She is starting a nonprofit to help struggling students.

But for now, she is just basking in the moment.

"It feels great to finally accomplish what I've worked for 13 years to get," said Dawn.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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homeless, college, teens, north carolina, national/world
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