Formerly Homeless – Now Harvard Bound!

20 Jun

Every once in a while, some good things happen to folks who wouldn’t otherwise seem to have a chance in life. This one is a congratulations and  Good Luck to Khadijah Williams!

Khadijah Willaims at Graduation

Khadijah Willaims at Graduation

Khadijah Williams, 18, overcomes a lifetime in shelters and on skid row.
By Esmeralda Bermudez
11:03 PM PDT, June 19, 2009

Khadijah Williams stepped into chemistry class and instantly tuned out the commotion.

She walked past students laughing, gossiping, napping and combing one another’s hair. Past a cellphone blaring rap songs. And past a substitute teacher sitting in a near-daze.

Quietly, the 18-year-old settled into an empty table, flipped open her physics book and focused. Nothing mattered now except homework.

“No wonder you’re going to Harvard,” a girl teased her.

Around here, Khadijah is known as “Harvard girl,” the “smart girl” and the girl with the contagious smile who landed at Jefferson High School only 18 months ago.

What students don’t know is that she is also a homeless girl.

As long as she can remember, Khadijah has 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. Every morning, she upheld her dignity, making sure she didn’t smell or look disheveled.

On the streets, she learned how to hunt for their next meal, plot the next bus route and help choose a secure place to sleep — survival skills she applied with passion to her education.

Only a few mentors and Harvard officials know her background. She never wanted other students to know her secret — not until her plane left for the East Coast hours after her Friday evening graduation.

“I was so proud of being smart I never wanted people to say, ‘You got the easy way out because you’re homeless,’ ” she said. “I never saw it as an excuse.”…


Posted by on June 20, 2009 in News


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5 responses to “Formerly Homeless – Now Harvard Bound!

  1. Yes

    June 21, 2009 at 4:53 PM

    I wonder did John Mcworther hear about this story? Also, which black conservative irritate you the most? I see your comments over at Conservative black women, which are pretty harsh and hilarous.


  2. btx3

    June 22, 2009 at 8:51 AM

    Yes – I don’t think McWhorter begrudges this girl anything. I would guess he is rooting for her just as hard as the rest of us. I sometimes agree with McWhorter, sometimes I don’t, which along with Crouch – makes him a good read.

    The most disappointing black conservatives are the Project 21 crew, starting with Massie. Their sole purpose is to kiss ass. There just isn’t anything redeeming there, much less original.

    Then, there is the professional clown crew, like Jesse Lee Peterson and Rev Manning, who have simply become jokes.


  3. Yes

    June 22, 2009 at 5:26 PM

    Now, I have read a bunch of afro-american conservatives books; Ken Hamblin, Larry Elder and Losing the Race; part one and two. I did like that McWhorter did offer solution. But, my only problem is when they only bash and beat down black people and never try to critique other’s.


  4. btx3

    June 22, 2009 at 6:06 PM

    They never offer real solutions, Yes – and that is the criminal part of their enterprise.


  5. NancyG

    September 17, 2009 at 10:21 AM

    Khadijiah now has a website that gives more information –

    Khadijah also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show which will air (tentatively) on October 2. Watch for the surprise!



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