In the midst of all the “GOSSELIN DIVORCE DRAMA” and “PARIS HILTON CELEBRATES 1000th LAY!” headlines, it’s refreshing to see an actual heartwarming story slip through the sensational cracks…
Eighteen-year-old Khadijah Williams, who has been homeless for years and was even forced to miss several grades because of constant uprooting, is graduating fourth in her Los Angles high school class — and is on her way to Harvard.
Oh, boy. WEEPY PREGNANT WOMAN ALERT! Cue Candy’s waterworks. (Seriously, I’m a mess these days.)
She, her mother Chantwuan Williams and younger sister Jeanine Williams have been moving in and out of homeless shelters throughout California for quite a long time. Khadijah recognized her gift for learning as early as age 9, when she placed in the 99th percentile on state exams. She was soon designated a gifted student; not only in academics, but also in the art of survival — she was forced at an early age to learn how to deal with pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers.
And here I thought having a greasy-haired neighbor who looked like Squiggy and moonlighted as our elementary school photographer was bad. (Hey. All of my classmates knew Squiggy was my neighbor. It was humiliating!)
After Khadijah’s mother and sister vanished from the homeless shelter where they were staying, a married couple opened their hilltop home to a lonely Khadijah for the remainder of her Senior Year. James, an orthopedic surgeon, and Patricia, a nurse, helped Khadijah with the essays for her college applications, according to the Los Angeles Times. They also taught her valuable life skills such as money management, table manners and grooming (a valuable skill Squiggy NEVER learned, I must note).
After only seeing her mother sporadically during the last six months before her high school graduation, Khadijah found her and her sister at a storage facility in South Central L.A. where they last stored their belongings.
The “Harvard girl,” as her classmates call her, modeled her hunter green graduation cap and gown and practiced switching the tassel for her fractured family.
“Look at you,” her mother said. “You’re really going to Harvard, huh?”
“Yeah,” she said, pausing. “I’m going to Harvard.”
Not to sound like a Special K commercial, but… You go, girl!