When facing homelessness, bullying, and being abandoned by family, many people might be tempted to give up hope. But for 18-year-old Dawn Loggins, who was just accepted into Harvard University, this was not the case.
"When I was younger, I looked around at my family and 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," Loggins told WBTV.
But her conditions only worsened after her parents abandoned her and she had to go live with her grandmother.
"When I lived with my grandma there was trash all over the house," Loggins told WBTV. "She never really explained to me like that it was important to shower -- it was important to take care of yourself, so I would go months at a time without showering. I would wear the same dress to school for months at a time."
More often than not, the teenager lacked basic supplies for her schooling -- something her Burns High School guidance counselor Robyn Putnam thankfully noticed.
“Do you want it? Will you wear it?” Putnam asked while taking Loggins shopping, according to the Shelby Star.
“Yes. I’ll wear it," the teenager responded, according to the paper.
“Then put it in the cart."
According to the Shelby Star, others pitched in to help the girl -- school faculty gave her money, and a local dentist providing her with toothpaste and a toothbrush.
After years of hard work, catch up, and at times even working as a school custodian, Loggins' dream finally became a reality when she opened her acceptance letter from Harvard.
“Dear Ms. Loggins,” the letter read, according to the Gaston Gazette. “I am delighted to report that the Admissions Committee has asked me to inform you that you will be admitted to the Harvard College class of 2016…We send such an early positive indication only to outstanding applicants…”
Not only did they accept Loggins, but they offered her financial aid that would cover tuition, room and board. According to the Gazette, the school is also helping her find a job on campus.
"If there is anybody at all who has a dream," Loggins told WBTV, "then they can definitely make it happen. There are no excuses. It depends on you and no one else."