In this fact-based cable TV drama, Thora Birch stars as Liz Murray, the daughter of a loving but extremely dysfunctional Bronx family. Weighed down with a coke-addict father and an HIV-infected mother, Liz spends her early years shuttling from squalid apartment to public shelter and back again. At 15, she breaks away from her home life (what there is of it) and takes to the streets. Only after the death of her mother does Liz develop the determination to better her lot in life. Virtually begging her way back into high school, she becomes a superb student, and at 19, with funding from a scholarship and a part-time job with the New York Public Interest Group, "born loser" Liz enters Harvard University. The real Liz Murray co-produced the film and plays a cameo role as a social worker. Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story premiered April 7, 2003, on the Lifetime network.