I Am Waters

Today is 06.06.2020

Homeless Girl Makes It To Harvard | North Carolina | Gaston Gazette

In March, the mail brought bulky envelopes filled with acceptance letters, pamphlets and welcome folders from colleges.

North Carolina State University.

Warren Wilson College.

Davidson College.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

All said yes to Burns High senior Dawn Loggins.

She still hadn’t heard from Harvard University. She was feeling doubtful.

While some classmates had begun taking advanced placement and honors classes years before, Dawn was constantly on the move, her family evicted from home after home. She missed a lot of school days, making it impossible to take some AP classes.

Last summer, she found herself homeless and spent weeks hopping from couch to couch at friends’ homes in Catawba County. Eventually, she found a home with Sheryl Kolton, a custodian and bus driver at Burns Middle and Burns High.

Dawn found time to join the National Honors Society, National Spanish Honors Society and the Beta Club and she’s president of the photo club.

Before and after classes, she works as a janitor, cleaning the high school she attends. Despite her straight As and an SAT score of 2110, Dawn didn’t think she was competitive enough for Harvard.

The letter

One night, after coming home from cleaning Burns High, there it was. A small envelope on the kitchen table.

In the left hand corner: “Harvard.”

This wasn’t like the thick oversized envelopes from the other schools.

It didn’t look good.

Dawn opened the letter.

She gasped as she clutched the page.

“Dear Ms. Loggins,” the letter read. “I am delighted to report that the Admissions Committee has asked me to inform you that you will be admitted to the Harvard College class of 2016…We send such an early positive indication only to outstanding applicants…”

Dawn was excited, but she didn’t jump up and down. She didn’t yell.

“I’ve learned over the years not to get my hopes up because I’ve been let down so much,” she said. “It makes disappointment easier to handle.”

She’s been through years of broken promises.

She remembers her parents telling her they would live in a new home as a family with Dawn’s older brother and her two half-sisters.