SHELBY, N.C. — A homeless North Carolina student who said she had to do homework by candlelight has been accepted to Harvard University.
Dawn Loggins is preparing to graduate from Burns High School in Cleveland County. She is their first student in history to be accepted to Harvard, school officials said.
WSOC reported that money was always tight for Loggins’ family. Her parents were out of work, constantly moving homes and facing eviction.
She said she came home one day at age 16 and her family was gone. They moved to Tennessee and she said she had no way to contact them.
She said she continued at Burns High, got a job as a school custodian and strived to do well in Advanced Placement and honors courses.
“I would have to do my homework by candlelight and to use a wood stove, which was our only source of heat, to make a cup of noodles to eat,” she said, of being homeless.
Loggins said studying was a way to take her mind off her problems and have a goal to focus on.
That accomplishment is paying off with a recent acceptance letter from Harvard.
Loggins said she plans on majoring in biology and has already started a nonprofit to help other struggling students.
She said she wants to help out the dozens of students she knows are homeless in her high school alone.
Burns High Principal Aaron Allen said Loggins’ bright future is inspiring.
“I want other people — everyone — to realize that you can achieve your dreams if you try,” she said, according to WSOC.
Loggins has financial aid to cover tuition, room and board. She said Harvard has also committed to helping her find a job on campus when she arrives in the fall.