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Homeless Long Island Teenager Is Intel Competition Semifinalist

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Samantha Garvey and her mussels at Brentwood High School - Brentwood, NY - Jan 12, 2012 (credit: Sophia Hall / WCBS 880)

Samantha Garvey and her mussels at Brentwood High School – Brentwood, NY – Jan 12, 2012 (credit: Sophia Hall / WCBS 880)

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BAY SHORE, NY (CBSNewYork / AP) - Samantha Garvey has good reason to be the recipient of high fives and congratulations from the faculty and students in the hallways at Brentwood High School.

WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall On The Story


The 17-year-old senior says she cannot believe that she is one of the semifinalists in the highly prestigious Intel Science Competition, in part because she lives in a Bay Shore homeless shelter with her parents, brother, and twin sisters.

“I am currently homeless. Like I’ve said, this motivates me to do better. I do well and I pursue my passion because it’s what I have and it’s a way out, you know, and it’ll lead to better things,” Garvey told WCBS 880 reporter Sophia Hall.

Samantha Garvey and her father at Brentwood High School - Brentwood, NY - Jan 12, 2012 (credit: Sophia Hall / WCBS 880)

Samantha Garvey and her father at Brentwood High School - Brentwood, NY - Jan 12, 2012 (credit: Sophia Hall / WCBS 880)

She said she was blown away and started crying when she learned about her place in the competition.

“I’ve gotten a lot of calls. People on Facebook, they’re posting things on my wall and it’s really exciting,” she said.

Garvey is one of 61 Long Island students who have a chance at the competition’s top prize of $100,000.

“I did a marsh study where I looked at mussels in a marsh and I saw that when they were exposed to crabs, they grew heavier shells,” she said.

After that, she introduced the situation to a lab setting.

Her guidance counselor Karin Feil said Garvey takes advantage of anything offered to her.

She also studies Italian and plays the violin. Plus, she has 3.9 grade point average.

Samantha said she dreams of becoming a marine biologist after attending Brown or Yale.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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