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Homeless Science Semi-finalist Wins Hearts

January 19th, 2012

Samantha Garvey. Photo credit: John Dunn/AP

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.

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8 Comments on “Homeless Science Semi-finalist Wins Hearts”

  • Tentse DOma says:

    Samantha, you are awesome! I am ten years old and wants to ask :
    What schol do you got to?
    Which colleges do you really want to go to?
    How is it being homeless?
    Will you use the money wisely of what Ellen gave you?
    Please answer as soon as possible.
    U are pretty, smart and responsible!
    You are very nice to people. Thank you!

  • Pema says:

    Samantha, I have been inspired right after reading this article and watching to two videos! I think you are the type of person whom everyone should follow and be inspired too!

    • Doralice says:

      This is awesome, I’m so ecextid for her and her family for all of the accomplishments that she is making. This should be a great inspiration to others. I know it is for myself, I love saving with my coupons and paying it forward, It gives me such a great warmth that I was able to make someone elses day. perhaps they were having a bad day, you never know how you can change someones day. Just by even the simplyst jesture.thank you so much for sharing your stories with others.

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