Thora Birch stars as Liz Murray in this inspiring drama about a teenage girl forced to survive on the streets, after her parents lose their struggle against their drug addition. Living day to day, finding food in dumpsters, Liz finds living on her own, a freedom to be able to make a better life for herself and go on to graduate from Harvard University.

Homeless to Harvard is based on a true story of Elizabeth Murray, known as Liz, that changed her life by steel determination and relentless hope for a better future. She went from having nothing but the clothes on her back to graduating from Harvard University.

Living in abandoned apartments and eating out of dumpsters, Liz did her best to stay warm and keep alive. Once in a while, Liz went go to school. However, with no easy access to running water and clean clothing, she was considered an outcast by her classmates. One teacher noticed that Liz made top grades on all her test, even though she was seldom at school. To get her to come more often, this teacher brought Liz some clothing and a toothbrush for a promise that Liz would start attending school more often.

When Liz’s mother passed away, she felt lost and cheated that her mother now could never get well and start taking care of Liz. However, Liz found a surprising sense of freedom to be able to use her time and academic abilities to get a new life.

Liz first decids to get a high school diploma. She read an ad for a local accelerated high school program in a small school for gifted students. Just as the director was leaving for home, Liz convinced him to take a few minutes to hear her plea to join the school. She was accepted and started by taking twice the normal course load.

Liz worked at washing dishes for food and making enough money for tokens that she used to sleep on the subway. Her homework, papers, and books went with her everywhere, even if it meant hanging them over the huge restaurant sink while she worked.

On a school field trip, Liz toured Harvard University and could not believe such a life was even possible, especially for someone like her. However, after hearing a causal remark about a scholarship deadline, Liz realized she had a chance to go for a college degree. That is, if and only if, she could write her application and essay in time and if the review committee would consider reading it.

Liz gets her application accepted and realizes that she was in the small, elite group of students competing for a full, four year paid college education at the prestigious Harvard University. Now her main problem is finding decent clothes to wear for the interview with the sponsor, the New York Times newspaper.

Homeless to Harvard brings to its audience an inspiring story of steel determination no matter what the costs. Thora Birch plays her role of Liz Murray with amazing dignity and style.

Homeless to Harvard is not yet rated, and was directed by Peter Levin.