Dawn Loggins: From Janitor To Ivy League

Dawn Loggins was homeless at the start of the school year, abandoned by her drug-abusing parents. She got a janitorial job through a school workforce assistance program. She’s grateful for the work. But it’s where she’s going next, beyond the walls of Burns High School, that excites her most.

Dawn grew up in a ramshackle home with no electricity and no running water. She often went days, even weeks without showering. She and her brother Shane — who was equally studious in his schoolwork — would walk 20 minutes to a public park to fetch water. Burns High was their fourth high school since middle school, as they moved from town to town. Shane was outgoing, but Dawn always appeared more reserved.

For a while, Dawn lived on the odd couch at friends’ homes, while she figured out what to do. Sometimes, she slept on the floor. The only thing that was clear was that she wanted to in Lawndale, where she was active in extracurricular activities, had a boyfriend and had a job. With her parents gone, she processed the options with her guidance counselor, who helped her find a new home and process her college applications.


Dawn applied to four colleges within the state: the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; North Carolina State University; Davidson College; and Warren Wilson College. In December, she sent one final application off in the mail, to her reach-for-the-stars choice, Harvard. Months passed. She was accepted to the four schools in North Carolina. And finally, she received an acceptance letter from Harvard! In addition to that, she was offered tuition, room and board, as well as assistance finding an on-campus job.

Dawn has learned the sort of lessons that can’t be learned in school. “I love my parents. I disagree with the choices that they’ve made. But we all have to live with the consequences of our actions,” she said. She takes it all in stride. “If I had not had those experiences, I wouldn’t be such a strong-willed or determined person.”

She might just find Harvard to be easy, don’t you think? Did Dawn Loggins’ story inspire you? Share your thoughts with us!

Source: CNN

Image: Patheos

Should You End This Relationship or Not?

There’s no such thing as a relationship without challenges. However, some stumbling blocks are merely garden-variety annoyances, while others are bona fide deal-breakers. Below are five ways to know whether your romance is doomed or likely to go the distance.

1. Conflict Resolution
When you hit  periods of conflict, does it become about who can win and/or who can hurt the other more effectively? Is it characterized by your partner thinking almost exclusively about what is good for him or her, not about what’s good for you or the relationship? If any of these statements ring true for you, it’s probably a wise decision to get out.

2. Irritating habits versus deal-breakers

Some of the most troubling and potentially deal-breaking problems one can face with a partner are immaturity, addiction, unresolved or untreated mental health issues and abusiveness. You may have always known since childhood that if a partner was abusive to you — especially if he laid a hand on you in anger — that this was your deal-breaker.


3. Focus on yourself for a bit
Often, the easiest way to find clarity about your relationship involves shifting your focus away from it and to the center and joy of your own life instead. Once you identify a couple of these life goals, you’ll enter into a process of addressing all the barriers to your own growth — some of which may involve your existing relationship — all of which should provide clear reasons why leaving your current relationship would be preferable to sticking around.

4. Consequences of ending the relationship
If your intuition tells you that your partner may have a volatile reaction, that’s a pretty good sign that walking away from your relationship is a good idea. If you’re concerned that your partner may engage in self-harm, let key people in his or her life know that your relationship is ending — and that you are concerned about your partner’s welfare.

5. Life without your partner
Remember that having love, approval, kindness and appreciation for yourself is at least as important as getting it from someone else; if these feelings are impossible to have while in your current relationship, it’s time to get back into having a loving, supportive connection with yourself.

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Graphics Hunt