«Dawn Loggins spent much of her life moving from one home to another and switching schools, but she never thought she’d be homeless. During her senior year at Burns High School in Cleveland County, N.C., she was forced into “couch-surfing” at friends’ houses and relying on her part-time job as a school custodian.
Last summer, after returning from a prestigious academic summer program in Raleigh, N.C., she found her parents were gone from the home they shared in North Carolina. She had no way to reach them because their phone services had been disconnected. It would be a few months before she learned that they had gone to Tennessee for a visit and decided to stay. Before her homeless ordeal, Dawn recalled having to do homework by candlelight because the power had been disconnected and having to cook noodles on a wood stove after her mother and stepfather lost their jobs. Focusing on her school work, she said, helped her deal with the family’s circumstances. Next year should be better: She’ll be attending Harvard University — the only student from her school ever accepted there, according to ABC News station WSOC. “I was kind of surprised,” the 18-year-old said of learning she was accepted. “I didn’t jump and down or scream or cry or anything, but I was happy. I guess I’m not easily exited. I’m not a very emotional person.”