MSNBC – Eboni Boykin‘s youth consisted of a variety of homeless shelters, and one constant goal: an Ivy League education. It was a dream sparked at age 13 by the youngest of television’s The Gilmore Girls, who was driven to attend an Ivy college or university.

Today, it’s a reality, as Boykin is in the midst of her sophomore year at Columbia University in New York City. Her incredible story was featured during last September’s Student Town Hall, and host Melissa Harris-Perry followed up with her on Sunday for an update.

“Literally, every day I ask myself, ‘What am I doing here?’” she told MSNBC in an interview prior to her appearance Sunday in the annual Education Nation Student Town Hall. “It never really ceases to amaze me, where I am — it never really sinks in.”

Boykin spent her childhood in countless schools in Mississippi and Missouri as her single mother struggled to raise her and her younger siblings–often living dependent upon homeless shelters and at times, sleeping in cars. She later became the first of her family to graduate from high school, and earned acceptance to Columbia University.

Columbia has been a “stark change” for her, as she now isn’t worried about where her next meal is coming from.

“When I started here at Columbia, I didn’t feel prepared at all, at least by my high school,” Boykin said. “As time went on, I found friend groups, and activities to get into, and started to get the hang of my work. Now I’m in a more secure place.”

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