'I Was Born In Prison': Texas Girl Born In Jail Gets Accepted To Harvard

May 29, 2023

A young Texas woman, whose life began behind bars, has been accepted into the prestigious Harvard University after graduating third in her class.

18-year-old Aurora Sky Castner was born in the Galveston County Jail. Her father picked her up from the county jail and raised her as a single dad. Her mother was incarcerated at the time and has never been a part of her life.

"I was born in prison," reads the first line of her Harvard application letter.

Castner credits her mentor Mona Hamby for her success. Castner and Hamby met when she was in elementary school. The school staff introduced her to a community mentorship program where adult volunteers grab lunch with young students at least once a week.

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Mona Hamby / Credit: Facebook

"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 sounds like a bright little girl," Hamby told the Houston Chronicle. "I still have that paper today."

"She told me 'I've been to jail'. I said 'No, that can't be right.' I knew that I can't just go eat lunch with this kid once a week, she needed more."

Hamby became a major part of Castner's life since that day. She took her to get her first haircut at a salon, helped her get glasses and was there when she toured Harvard's campus.

Castner not only succeeded in getting accepted into Harvard - but she will also be attending the prestigious Ivy League school on a full scholarship.

"Girl set a goal to go to Harvard in elementary school despite being born in poverty. Received full scholarship to attend Harvard in 2023," Hamby wrote in a recent Facebook post.

Others in the community stepped up and looked out for the teen as well - from helping her get dental care to gifting her the experience of summer camp.

Castner said she is "beyond excited to be attending Harvard College in the fall" with her sights set on a future law degree.

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