Liz Murray will share her story of going from homeless to Harvard with Texas STEM educators at the TRC 23rd Annual Meeting, being held in Austin, TX from June 27-29, 2017
The Center for STEM Education is excited to announce that the keynote speaker for the TRC 23rd Annual Meeting will be Liz Murray, author of Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard. Murray’s inspirational story of overcoming being raised in a home broken by addiction and homelessness to become a graduate of Harvard University is one that seems to resonate deeply with teachers. To say that being a teacher is challenging is as obvious as it is an understatement, but for most teachers knowing that they can make a difference in a student’s life provides the drive to keep going. And within Liz Murray’s story lies proof of the impact a teacher can have. The TRC Annual Meeting has always been part STEM professional development conference and part pep-rally, and this year’s keynote will ensure that the educators in attendance will leave motivated to look out for any Liz Murrays in their schools.
More about Liz Murray
From homeless to Harvard…it is an unlikely turn of events. Liz Murray’s life is a triumph over adversity and a stunning example of the importance of dreaming big. Murray’s life as the child of cocaine-addicted parents in the Bronx was bitterly grim. There was never food in the house, everything was filthy, drugs were everywhere, and the welfare checks were spent before they arrived.
By age 15, Murray’s mom had died and she was homeless—living on the streets, riding the subway all night, and eating from dumpsters. Amidst this pain, Murray always imagined her life could be much better than it was. “I started to grasp the value of the lessons learned while living on the streets. I knew after overcoming those daily obstacles that next to nothing could hold me down.” Determined to take charge of her life, Murray finished high school in just two years and was awarded a full scholarship to Harvard University, all while camping out in New York City parks and subway stations.
Murray’s story is exhilarating and inspirational. Her delivery is innocently honest, as she takes audiences on a very personal journey where she achieves the improbable.
Her story sounds like a Hollywood movie—and it practically is. Lifetime Television produced a movie about Murray’s life story entitled Homeless to Harvard, which was nominated for three “Emmy Awards”. Murray is the recipient of the White House “Project’s Role Model Award” and Oprah Winfrey’s first-ever “Chutzpah Award”. Her memoir, Breaking Night, landed on the New York Times best seller list within a week of its release and quickly became an international bestseller published in twelve countries, in eight languages.
Murray received her Bachelor of Science degree from Harvard University. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Psychology at Columbia University. As an inspirational speaker with the Washington Speakers Bureau, Murray frequently presents dynamic talks to audiences ranging from several hundred to several thousand. Some of her clients include Coca- Cola, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, United Way, BlackRock and numerous colleges and universities across the United States.
Murray is passionate about speaking on the importance of personal motivation, transforming problems into opportunities, and what it takes to make a difference in people’s lives.