Lalita Booth: From Homeless Dropout To Harvard Student

06/02/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

North Carolina-born Lalita Booth was abused as a teenager -- over the next few years she got married, had a baby and abused drugs. By age 18, her life was in shambles.

She ended up living out of her car with her baby, missing her husband who had joined the army.

CBS News Reports:

"I would cry myself to sleep because I missed him so much," Booth said.

That's when she grew up. She enrolled in a community college, then transferred to a four-year university. An honors student, Booth's inspiring story captured headlines.

She's in the process of earning a Master's degree in business and public policy from Harvard University.

"It's an amazing feeling," Booth said. She financed her education through 20 scholarships totaling more than half a million dollars. Now she spends her time on Capitol Hill, where she lobbies for single mothers.

Lalita is remarried and has her son back. She'll tell you, whatever baggage she once carried seems a lot lighter now.