How a girl born in prison beats the odds and gets into Harvard

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  • Post last modified:June 7, 2023
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You are currently viewing How a girl born in prison beats the odds and gets into Harvard

Even though she was born in jail and her mother left her there, this young girl has beaten all odds and done something truly amazing. Her strength and drive helped her get into Harvard, and now she is a source of inspiration for many.

Meet Aurora, a girl who was born in jail and went on to do something unexpected with her life.

This young girl from Texas, whose mother was in jail when she was born, has done very well for herself. She graduated at the top of her high school class and is now getting ready to go to Harvard University.

Aurora Sky Castner was born in the Galveston County Jail. She just graduated from Conroe High School as the third-best student. Even though Castner was born into a difficult situation, her father raised her as a single parent, since her mother hasn’t been involved in her life since she got out of jail.

She didn’t try to keep her past a secret.

Castner made a bold start to her Harvard application essay by writing, “I was born in prison.” This honest and powerful story about her past struck a chord with the admissions committee, which led to her being accepted through early action to a prestigious Ivy League school.


Castner plans to get a law degree at Harvard in the future, which shows how determined and ambitious she is.

Castner’s father moved the family around a lot when she was young, but they always stayed in Montgomery County. When Castner was in elementary school, the teachers and staff saw that she had a lot of promise, but they thought she would benefit from the help of CISD’s Project Mentor program, which pairs students with volunteers from the community.

Mona Hamby became her teacher at that time. “I was given a paper about her,” Hamby said. Rosa Parks was her hero. She loved reading, and Dairy Queen tacos were her favorite food. I thought this little girl sounded smart. I’m still holding on to that paper.”


Her guide was an important part of her life.

Castner told Hamby about how hard her childhood was, and Hamby knew that the teenager needed help with more than just school. She knew it was also important to talk about her own experiences.

So, Hamby helped Castner pick out her first pair of glasses and get her first professional haircut. Also, area dentists, orthodontists, and community leaders helped Castner by taking care of her teeth and giving her the chance to do important things like go to summer camp.

Castner said this: “It was very different from where I grew up, and that’s not a bad thing.” “Everything Mona taught me was very valuable, just like everything I did before I met her was very valuable.”

Castner went on a tour of Harvard’s campus with Hamby and Randy, her husband, in March 2022. This was a big reason why Castner decided to go to Harvard later that year. Hamby said, “After that trip, I saw her love for the school grow.”

It’s very important to never forget that our past doesn’t decide what will happen in the future. Take Victoria’s story as another real-life example. When she was young, she was in a terrible accident, but that didn’t stop her from going after her goals.

Preview photo credit Academy for Science & Health, Conroe ISD / Facebookmlham / Instagram

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