How Girl Who Was Born in Prison Defies the Odds by Making It Into Harvard

6 months ago

Against all odds, this young girl, born in a prison and abandoned by her mother, has surpassed expectations and achieved something truly incredible. Her determination and strength have led her to be accepted into Harvard University, becoming a beacon of inspiration for many.

Meet Aurora, the girl who was born in prison, and pursued a surprising career.

This young girl from Texas, who was born while her mother was imprisoned, has achieved remarkable success by graduating at the top of her class in high school and is now preparing to attend Harvard University.

Aurora Sky Castner, who was born in the Galveston County Jail, recently graduated as the third-highest-ranking student at Conroe High School. Despite the challenging circumstances surrounding her birth, Castner’s father took on the responsibility of raising her as a single parent, as her mother has not been involved in her life since her release from prison.

She didn’t try to hide her past.

In her application essay to Harvard, Castner boldly started with the statement, “I was born in prison.” This honest and powerful account of her background resonated with the admissions committee, leading to her acceptance into the prestigious Ivy League institution through early action.

Looking ahead to her future at Harvard, Castner intends to pursue a law degree, demonstrating her determination and ambition.

During her childhood, Castner frequently changed residences with her father but remained within Montgomery County. When Castner was in elementary school, the staff recognized her potential but believed she would benefit from the guidance offered by CISD’s Project Mentor program, which pairs community volunteers with students.

That’s when Mona Hamby became her mentor. Hamby shared: “I was given a paper about her. Her hero was Rosa Parks. Her favorite food was tacos from Dairy Queen, and she loved to read. I thought this sounded like a bright little girl. I still have that paper today.”

Her mentor played an important role in her journey.

After Castner spoke to Hamby about her challenging childhood, Hamby realized that the teenager needed more than just academic support. She recognized the importance of providing personal experiences as well.

Consequently, Hamby assisted Castner in selecting eyeglasses and getting her first professional haircut. Additionally, local dentists, orthodontists, and community leaders contributed by helping Castner with her dental care and enabling her to enjoy important childhood activities like attending summer camp.

Castner expressed, “It was a very different environment than I grew up in, and that’s not a bad thing,” Castner said. “Everything that Mona taught me was very valuable in the same way that everything that I went through before Mona was very valuable.”

In March 2022, Hamby and her husband, Randy, accompanied Castner on a tour of Harvard’s campus, a significant factor in solidifying her decision to attend the university later that year. “After that trip, I saw her love for the school intensify,” Hamby said.

It’s very important to never forget that our past never defines our future. As another living example take a look at Victoria’s story who suffered a terrible accident when she was young, but that didn’t stop her from fulfilling her dreams.


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