Homeless Science Semi-finalist Wins Hearts
Eighteen year-old New York high school senior Samantha Garvey became homeless on New Year’s Eve. Samantha’s mom had been in a car accident and hadn’t been able to work for 8 months because of her injuries. Her dad, a cab driver, couldn’t pay the bills on his job alone. As a result, Samantha and her family had to move into a homeless shelter — a very rough start to a new year.
But a few days later, Samantha found out that she became one of 300 semi-finalists in the most prestigious science contest for students in the country, the Intel Science Talent Search . Samantha loves science and spent over two years researching how a certain kind of mussel was able to develop a thicker shell to protect itself from predators. She’d like to be a marine biologist. Finalists of the Intel contest have gone on to win Nobel prizes and do important work.
It was already a big deal that Samantha became a finalist in this contest but when the newspapers and TV found out she managed to do this while being homeless, they featured her in stories. And people who read about this talented teenager going through a terrible time wanted to help.
Someone helped find them an affordable home that they will be able to move into very soon. It’s being fixed up for them right now.
In the meantime, Samantha has also been invited to attend President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Speech in Washington DC next Tuesday night as a guest of a NY congressman!
And she was invited to be on the Ellen Degeneres show, a daytime TV talk show, where she was presented with a $1,000 gift certificate to a grocery store so they can buy food … a $5,000 gift certificate for clothes so they don’t have to buy used clothes anymore … and a $50,0000 scholarship so that Samantha can afford to go to any university she wants so she can keep doing the science she loves so much! You can watch her receive all of this in the very bottom clip below.
It’s scary to think that left unnoticed Samantha may have had to give up on her dreams. Thankfully, things are looking up for the Garvey family in 2012 afterall. Finalists for the science competition will be announced at the end of January. Good luck, Samantha!
General story about Samantha:
Clip of Samantha on the Ellen Degeneres show which airs on TV later today.