Sweet September: ‘”Homeless Girl Heads To Harvard”

When I look back, it seems to me that all through my childhood and for most part of my life in SE Asia, I was rebelling: against parental control, against familial constraints and sometimes even societal boundaries at large. But since moving to Canada and seeing several new immigrants struggle: to find jobs, to learn new concepts and to adjust to the cultural shock, I have now come to fully understand how much I had gained in my ‘oh–so-young’, days. you know, those ‘why can’t anyone understand me?’, days.

Childhood is perhaps the only and shortest period of our life that once lost can never be re-gained. There is only 18 plus 2 more years before one is deemed to be an adult. The opportunity to correct oneself and one’s situations, make right the wrongs and change course is far more in adulthood than in childhood. Back then, I took everything for granted- my parents, my relatives, my childhood, my education and my life in general. So much so, that when I meet/hear/read about fantabulous Khadijah, my heart aches for everything she didn’t have while being very thankful for everything I had.


I first read about Khajiya in JacknJill Politics, which published the original article from Los Angeles Times (Harvard Stories). I encourage you to read the whole story here.

And why is Khadijah fascinating to me…?

As long as she can remember, Khadijah, had floated from shelters to motels to armories along the West Coast with her mother.

She has attended 12 schools in 12 years; lived out of garbage bags among pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers.
She awoke at 4am and returned to her armory at 11pm and worked hard to keep her grade point average just  below 4.0 while participating in the Academic Decathlon, the debate team, and leading in the schools track and field team.
And this April, she graduated with high honours, fourth in her class. She was accepted to more than 20 universities nationwide including Brown, Columbia and she chose full scholarship to Harvard and aspires to become an education attorney.

and she certainly will! Khadijah, you are a great inspiration for me and many more, Kudos my gal,,!!!


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