By the way, what exactly is hard work to you, Steve?
Framing houses with a hammer and nails, farming (in most cases), cattle and horse ranching, orthopedic surgery, masonry, raising children (don't even think of comparing that to teaching), cleaning houses, highway maintenance, being a fighter pilot or an astronaut, Marine Corps infantry.
What isn't besides teaching?
Software architecture, paralegal, writing for the entertainment industry, just to name a few.
Regarding hard lives, I don't think that these kids have much to do with their households being one-parent environments or the financial situations they were born into... hardly self-inflicted wounds for most of them.
Why does that have anything to do with their success as students? Besides, what is it about living in a one-parent household that makes it such a hardship? I spent most of my childhood in a single-parent home and now I have a college degree and make a six-figure income. That's what I meant when I said that "lots of people have hard lives." The self-inflicted wounds are the ones that will result in these kids being no different than their parents and continuing the legacy with their own.
The denizens of these cesspools make no effort to improve their lot through the "gift" of an education and the elite depend in this behavior to keep these people dependent and keep themselves in power. While it is, for the most part, a closed, self-sustaining system, it is so fragile that all it takes to break it is the will to be an individual with responsibility for one's self. Of course, the government-school crowd is so busy working toward the lowest common denominator, the only chance they'll ever find the solution is if they trip over it, and maybe not even then.