Homeless L.I. Intel Semifinalist Invited To State Of The Union

BRENTWOOD, NY (CBSNewYork) — A homeless Brentwood High School senior who is a semifinalist in a prestigious national science contest has been invited to watch President Barack Obama deliver the State of the Union address.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall On The Story

Samantha Garvey was invited by Long Island Rep. Steve Israel to the Jan. 24 speech.

Israel said he was inspired by the teen’s story.

“I think she can teach those powerful people a lesson in perseverance, a lesson in not allowing setbacks to defeat you,” Israel told WCBS 880 reporter Sophia Hall on Tuesday.

Last week, Garvey was named one of 300 semifinalists who have a chance at winning the Intel Science Talent Search top prize of $100,000. Her two-and-a-half year project focused on predators’ effects on ribbed mussels.

The 17-year-old and her family have been living in a homeless shelter since New Year’s Day after her parents were injured in a car accident which left them unable to work.

Garvey’s story of determination has touched a lot of hearts.

A day after it became headline news, an anonymous donor came forward to kennel and vaccinate Garvey’s pitbull. The teen feared her dog would be euthanized.

Soon after, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced she and her family will be getting a three-bedroom, rent subsidized home in Bay Shore. The Marriott will be donating all the furniture for the home.

Israel offered Garvey a gallery ticket to the State of the Union. Her parents will be able to watch from his office.

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

Please leave a comment below…

  • Also

    This girl wasn’t homeless when she did the work for this competition. So what’s the big deal?

  • Greta

    I find it heartbreaking when a nice story like this of humans showing compassion comes out and some negative, hateful, greedy tea party person shows up to dump all over it with their vindictive bull and blaming nonsense. Don’t you people have anything better to do then obsess over a homeless girl getting a chance in life? Why do you obsess about “tax dollars”? If you pay that much you must be well off so what do you care? How selfish are you people that you don’t think you should contribute to society. Some of you are such horrible people that you must have a personality disorder. Go away.

  • matthew

    I think there’s a lot of Black and White thinking on both sides of this issue. It’s not as if everyone were living in some sort of absolute moral state where a certain percentage of the population was “good” and deserves respect and the remainder was “bad” and not worthy of charity, dignity, etc. Can we all agree that we’re all flawed, doing the best we can, and that we all want to be happy? If we spent collectively the tiniest fraction of our critical thinking recollecting on all the people who’ve helped us, all the times we’ve not been at our best, all the times we busted our butts and had nothing to show for it we might grow our universal share of compassion. We might get something accomplished for the good of our shared future. We’re all on the same team here. Few of us are living the kind of fairy tale distance from real suffering that our political leaders are. Helping each other is where it’s at amigo. This idea of helping yourself, independent of all possible assistance, is naive. Yeah, work hard for your own sake and those you love, but there’s no one you have to thank in your entire life? No one is completely “self-made”. You fed yourself out of the womb? We can’t judge the authenticity of this 17 year old kid’s brain because she isn’t eating out of trash cans yet and her dad drinks too much.

  • Susan

    What is wrong with giving someone a second or even third chance? This young girl knows the meaning of hard work and responsibility. She worked on a very difficult and involved project while working against many odds. Who are we to judge? I believe all these finalists, and all the finalists in the past, are to be commended for their diligence, hard work and creativity.

  • Enough already

    This girl was not exactly living on the streets. She was in a house. After they were evicted for not paying the rent, the family had enough money to spend the holidays in a hotel. Then they got put in a shelter at taxpayers expense. Now they get basically another free house subsidized by the county. Her father was an alcoholic which very likely is why the family has been homeless at various times. It’s not like they were doing everything right and became homeless through no fault of their own. How about a little responsibility from the parents?

    • Jimmy

      This girl got a tough break and has shown the ability to come through with shining colors despite the adversity in her life. Let’s help in whatever way we can.

    • lol wut?

      lol, seriously? If you are such a hard worker, wtf are you doing commenting on a busy Tuesday morning. It’s not a story about people ripping off the system. It’s a story about a young, bright teenager working hard and getting rewarded for it.

      Yes, sometimes people end up getting things and you end up paying for it? WTF is your point, bro? You mad at a society that can cover the rent of the parents of a bright mind for a bit?

      You know what? Life isn’t fair. So man/woman up, calm down, and get back to work doing whatever it is you weren’t just doing.

    • Always One

      There’s always one @$$ hat on the interwebs who has to shoot out a negative comment in response to a positive and uplifting story. Cheers to being today’s token @$$ hat.

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