Last year, high school senior Dawn Loggins came home from a summer program to find her parents gone and her grandmother abandoned at a local homeless shelter. This year, she’s going to Harvard University.
Even before her parents abandoned her, Dawn’s life was far from easy. She grew up in a home without electricity and running water -- fetching water from a park to cook and clean with. Despite growing up under such difficult circumstances, Dawn remained focused in school.
Her story is remarkable…but it isn’t just about the strength and determination of one girl; it’s about an entire community coming together to help a person in need. When Burns’ staff members discovered Dawn lived without electricity and couldn’t read her schoolbooks at night, they gave her candles. When they learned she had no water to bathe in, they let her use the locker room showers. They bought her clothing and healthcare, and when Dawn’s parents left her homeless, Sheryl Kolton -- a high school bus driver -- took her in.
In addition to being a straight-A senior, Dawn works as a high school janitor to make ends meet. Since her story has gone viral, she has received an outpouring of public support -- much of it financial. However, rather than keep the money for herself, Dawn wants to use it to help other struggling students. “There are so many kids whose futures aren’t so sure, and they need more help than I do,” she said in a recent interview with CNN. “I want them to be able to use my story as motivation.” Dawn’s story teaches us that there are few obstacles we can’t overcome if we remain positive, selfless, and determined.
From Dawn’s quest for Harvard, to Mark Wahlberg heading back to high school, to Romney’s recent unveiling of his plans for the U.S. school system, education seems to be the topic this week! Even the cast of "Teen Wolf" is getting in on the action. Take action below to learn more about how you or somebody you know can better afford college.
Get Your College Dollars
Connect with money for college -- from free grants to loans -- with MTV's My College Dollars app on Facebook.
Help Homeless Youth
Learn more about homelessness, the celebs taking action to fight it, and how you can join them with our Action Guide.