A Texas girl born in prison is making a name for herself after graduating from high school at the top of her class and intending to attend Harvard University.
Aurora Sky Castner graduated third in her class at Conroe High School on Thursday night, eighteen years after she was born in the Galveston County Jail.
Castner was born when her mother was incarcerated. She has not been involved in her daughter’s life since the day her father picked her up as a newborn from jail, raising her as a single parent.
Castner began her Harvard admission essay with the words she was born in prison.
She was subsequently admitted to the Ivy League via early action, and the adolescent hopes to study law when she enrolls in the fall.
Castner grew up moving around a lot with her father, but she always lived in Montgomery County.
Members of the faculty noticed promise in her while she was in elementary school, although she needed some mentoring from CISD’s Project Mentor program, which pairs community volunteers with children.
Mona Hamby, her tutor, arrived, saying that she had been given a paper about her. Her idol was Rosa Parks, her favorite dish was Dairy Queen tacos, and she enjoyed reading. Mona thought she sounded like a clever young lady. She still has that paper.
Castner told Hamby about her parenting struggle, and the lady said that she believed the now-teenager required more than simply a guide for school events but also for intimate occasions.
Hamby assisted Castner with things like choosing glasses and obtaining her first salon haircut, while dentists, orthodontists, and other community leaders assisted Castner with her teeth and allowed her to take part in essential childhood events like summer camp.
It was a totally different environment than the one she grew up in, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, Castner said. Everything Mona taught her was extremely beneficial in the same way that everything she went through before Mona was extremely beneficial.
In March 2022, Hamby and her husband, Randy, visited the Harvard campus with Castner, which contributed to establishing the teen’s choice to attend the institution later that year. After that trip, she saw her love for the school intensify, Hamby added.
Hamby said that Castner relied on James Wallace, a Boston University professor who assisted her with her Harvard application. He helped her tell her story in the best way possible, she stated.
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