Girl who was born in prison defies the odds by making it into Harvard

A young woman, born while her mother was in prison, recently achieved her aspirations by gaining admission to Harvard University.

Sky Castner, an 18-year-old girl, entered the world while her mother was incarcerated, and her father, acting as a single parent, took her away from the prison environment.

Throughout her life, Sky and her father frequently relocated, but she consistently harbored a desire to attend Harvard University.

Demonstrating dedication to her studies, Sky excelled academically and graduated as the third-ranked student in her class at Conroe High School. She is now preparing to embark on a journey to Massachusetts to pursue a law degree at the renowned institution.
Reaves Elementary School facilitated a connection between Sky and Mona Hamby, who participated in a mentoring program designed to provide additional support to students in need of extra adult interaction within the local community.

The pair developed a close bond due to their shared experiences of not having a strong maternal presence in their lives. Sky had only spoken to her mother once when she was 14 years old, and Mona recognized that the young girl required more than just weekly mentoring sessions.

Hamby recalled, "She confided in me, saying, 'I have been to jail.' I was taken aback and realized that merely having lunch with her once a week was insufficient; she needed additional assistance."

Consequently, Mona extended her support beyond mentoring, assisting Sky with crucial aspects of adulthood, such as acquiring a pair of glasses and arranging a haircut.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Sky was a hard working student right from the start, being a 'voracious reader' in elementary school, but the school felt she could do with a little bit of guidance to give her an extra boost.
Reflecting on her upbringing, Castner expressed that the environment she encountered at Harvard University differed significantly from her own childhood experiences, and she emphasized that this contrast was not a negative aspect. She further elaborated that she found a sense of fulfillment in achieving high grades in school.

Castner acknowledged the value of everything Mona had taught her, while also recognizing the significance of her past experiences before meeting Mona.

The accomplishment of earning straight As held a particular significance for Sky, and she derived immense satisfaction from her academic achievements.

In her journey towards Harvard, Castner received assistance with her application from Professor James Wallace of Boston University. Her application to Harvard commenced with a candid and captivating statement: "I entered this world within prison walls."

In March 2022, Mona and her husband Randy accompanied Sky on a visit to the Harvard campus, solidifying the 18-year-old's decision that it was the ideal place for her to pursue her aspirations.

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