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Poverty and Homelessness “Homeless to Harvard”

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After watching the film, Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story, I realized that if you try, you can do whatever you put your mind to. I believe that although the movie was sad it was very inspiring. Liz Murray was the product of a bad environment. Her parents were drug addicts and she felt like she single handedly had to hold her family together. She decided she was better off at home taking care of her mother who was legally blind, schizophrenic and a drug addict, and so she decided she did not want to go to school. At 16, after the death of her mother and becoming homeless, she decided it was time to do something for herself. She enrolled herself in school and succeeded beyond expectations. This story however, does not apply to every homeless child. It was obvious that Liz Murray had a passion for learning. Throughout elementary and middle school she would skip school and only go for test days. She would pass all of her tests because she would read at home. She just figured that being home to care for her family was more important at the time.

I feel like this movie is a big eye opener for the “NOW” generation. Just to see how hard Liz had to work for things that to us are bare necessities. For example, her thrift store clothes, her hygiene, and not having a home are things that people who have never seen or had to experience this take it for granted. I think a lot of kids nowadays do not know what it is like to really have to work for what they want. Parents, who are able to, think that providing their child with everything they could possibly need or want makes them a good parent. In reality, they are robbing their children of the opportunity to learn important characteristics like appreciation, work ethics and respect. This movie also highlighted the pressures and differences in how children deal with this kind of environment.

Liz and her sister handled their situation completely different. Her sister ignored more or less what was going on and just went with the flow. Liz was more affected I think by the situation at home. She rebelled more and did everything on her own without depending on anyone. She stated in one scene that she felt like she was in the role of the mother while taking care of her mom. I think that as a nurse, it is important to know how children and adults can be affected by this life style. I think that it is important to know in which way we can relate to patients in the hospitals and in the communities and be able to help, inspire and guide them without taking their life experiences away from them.

Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story [Motion picture]. (2003). United States: Warner Brothers.

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