Dawn will receive financial aid from Harvard and get an on-campus job to help pay for tuition, room and board. She also has saved money from her job to help with books and other essentials.
As for her field of study, Dawn plans to major in biology and is considering a career in biomedical research. When asked what she is most looking forward to as she heads off to college, her reply was one word.
"Stability," she said.
Dawn reflected on her life growing up and said she just wants to be able support herself and not worry about losing power or not being able to buy food.
Even though her mother may not have been the best mom, she said, she still loves her parents. Both will be at her high school graduation.
Dawn wants to focus on her future, not her past, and hopes that she can motivate other students, like her two younger sisters, to further their education beyond high school in order to have a better life.
"I'm in a good place right now," she said. "I have a lot of community support."