When facing homelessness, bullying, and being abandoned by family, many people might be tempted to give up hope. But for 18-year-old Dawn Loggins, who was just accepted into Harvard University, this was not the case, the Huffington Post reports.

“When I was younger, I looked around at my family and I saw the neglect, the drug abuse, the bad choices and I saw my family living from paycheck to paycheck, and I just made a decision that I was not going to end up like my parents,” Loggins told WBTV.

But her conditions only worsened after her parents abandoned her and she had to go live with her grandmother.

“When I lived with my grandma there was trash all over the house,” Loggins told WBTV. “She never really explained to me like that it was important to shower — it was important to take care of yourself, so I would go months at a time without showering. I would wear the same dress to school for months at a time.”

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staff and wire services reports