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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (179)
  1. Robert Moses says:

    When will Mike Bloomberg be arrested for maliciously and ILLEGALLY exporting New York City’s homeless problem to the suburbs. Everybody knows that homelessness and poverty and other social ills belong in CITIES, far away from the pristine suburbs where REAL Americans live.

  2. Honest Joe says:

    Good for her, but she isn’t homeless. She lives in a shelter on the taxpayer dollar. I’ve been homeless living in my car and that might not even be considered homeless nowadays.

  3. John Smith says:

    I know this sounds harsh, but how much of this is a ruse of the White House’s study team to make Obama more palettable for a second twerm as President. I’m sorry, but the pablum tht passes for science in HS thse days………..Th Gir’s on the face looks goodm but you can never tell what the truth is and the incredible amount of coaxing from real expers……. It sounds legit, but feels like a bag of lumbar. Forgive me.

  4. Steve Adams says:

    This homeless girl is going to Brown or Yale? At the taxpayers’ expense, no doubt. We shouldn’t give a darn about how smart she is; she (and her parents) should learn that not all of us can afford the Ivy League education.

    Everyone must own a home! Everyone must go to college! Everyone must have high-speed internet! We are BROKE, y’all! I have compassion for those who have less than most, but we must ALL live within our means.

  5. iExhalePoison says:

    This girl should get equal, if not more, media coverage compared to the Occupy crap. It is people like her that have made America great, and will hopefully continue to keep it great. With her attitude I know she will become successful (and then become a target of the Occupy movement).

  6. the1whowaits says:

    If you want to be a marine biologist try URI instad of Brown.

  7. Joe Blough says:

    Most public schools ARE homeless shelters!

  8. Nannyw says:

    When a person has little to work with they become more creative…Kids now do not see a need to be creative, everything is handed to them.. This girl will go far. Bless her!!

  9. Paul Revere says:

    Brown or Yale huh? Shame that a bright young girl will be programmed into another useful idiot.

  10. John says:

    When I’m exposed to more morons, I grow heavier skin:)

  11. Logo4245 says:

    YOU GO, GIRL!!!!!!!!!!

  12. EP says:

    Please. Please. Please. Tell me it’s not a hoax. This story portrays the spirited, can-do approach to purpose and achievement that makes me proud to be part of the human race.

  13. Scott Walker says:

    Great job Samantha. Go for your dreams and do not stop!!! May GOD bless you even more.

  14. Chris says:

    Oh bless you sweetie! Nice job. May you win this, graduate and get scholarships to a nice college. Never let anyone hold you back. Many blessings to you and your family. 😉

  15. Black Eagle says:

    Bet you neither she nor her family were out “occupying” anything. A wonderful end to a sad story!

  16. Destroyer says:

    I’m glad we have grown into a proper welfare state. Our homeless get the support they need on facebook. Computer or cell, our homeless are equipped to succeed. By showing this obviously bright young lady the support she ‘deserves’ we can make the world a much better place. One Marine Biologist at a time. This story should bring a tear to your eye, you heartless Capitalist Swine. Production be damned. We need a healthy marine sancuary.

  17. Skeeter says:

    Thank God she isn’t as lazy as her dad.

  18. Dennis D says:

    Wow so this proves poverty is not the cause of bad grades. Even the poor can do it. God Bless her

  19. Joe E in the IE says:

    I feel for the father: white, out of work, probably laid off when his job was outsourced to foreign lands and can’t find work now because there are too many tax credits and incentives for NOT hiring someone like him.

  20. RonPaul2012 says:

    Speaks volumes for taking initiative and staying intellectually proactive. Hats off to this young lady.

  21. stopthe says:

    Note that she is not black, so this story does not refute the claim that inner-city disenfranchised black youth perform poorly in school because of institutionalized racism and secret CIA programs (like Kwanzaa and the War on Drugs) that make them hopeless and unmotivated. If her ancestors were slaves, she’d probably feel depressed and despised and discriminated against all the time, and this never would have been possible.

  22. Jonathan Silberger says:

    I guess her college tuition is yet ANOTHER thing we taxpayers will have to pay!!!! Already paying for her loser family’s expenses thru taxpayer funded programs!!!

  23. Don says:

    Not that it’s an advantage, but I think her mom is Asian…. Oh, wait… that is an advantage!!

  24. Cindrew & Jojo says:

    We are enjoying your success so far.
    You are just getting started.
    May God watch over you and yours.

  25. BIRDFISH says:


  26. Manhattanite says:

    Great job! Praying you get a full scholarship to the college of your dreams!

  27. ObamaBigotryOfLoweredExpectations says:

    This young lady and her family have come to accept that the Obama regime reset the American dream, where living in an Obama regime stash supported shelter is common and usual and the move up to a privately owned or privately funded home is the pinnacle of success, high class.

    Congratulations on your success. Let’s hope for a regime change so you can translate your intellectual gift into a life free of government dependence for you and your family.

  28. Fed UP says:

    Now this is a student that should get my tax dollars to help her get through school. Nothing to do with race or sex but everything to do with commitment, outcome and perserverence under extreme conditions. When are we going to stop giving it all away to those that can not and will not achieve and give it to those that have already proven that they will and can. you should be proud of yourself young lady, here is hoping things turn around soon for you and your family. Good luck in the competition!

  29. HMichaelH says:

    She sounds like a wonderful young lady. I hope very good things come to her and her family.

  30. ObamaMakesHomelessnessNormal says:

    This young lady should divert her energy and talents to finding the root cause of homelessness and then solving that problem of liberalism.

  31. bill.1942 says:

    This young woman is a shining example of what can be. The Obama regime is taxing the middle class to death and wasting the money they are collecting. Time to spend some of that money to get our children back into adequate housing and a stable home environment. If she can do all that she does living in a shelter, just imagine what she and others could do/be. Shame.

  32. J. Webb says:

    Check out the BLUETOOTH in the Father’s ear. If you cant afford a home you dont need a CELLPHONE!

    1. Scott Walker says:

      He is a taxi driver. He works, he is not a bum.

  33. Albert MacMeda says:

    Well done. If you are sincere in your desire to become a Marine Biologist why not study at someplace like Woods Hole or our own Scripps Institute? Would make more sense than Brown or Yale, no?

  34. LA Doc says:

    Uhh… OK. Been off your meds, little girl?

  35. John Galt says:

    No don’t steal this girls thunder by espousing some BS about income inequality. It’s hard work and discipline that will lead her to the top.. The Middle class is dying because they thought being middle class was safe. Life ain’t safe. So grab a pair and out work and hustle everybody. Then you can become one of the 1%, instead of some envious “woulda-coulda-shoulda”

    1. LA Doc says:

      Great response dude. Bitter Leftist crybabies like Jerry and Eric Turner can’t seem to reconcile to themselves why they’re such unhappy losers, so they have to degrade this wonderful girl’s future potential by claiming the “system” or the “rich” are keeping them down. So let me ask these faultless clowns something. If and when this girl becomes rich and successful, and joins the ranks of the 1%, will you two blame her for your station in life?
      Ahh Jerry and Eric. Your typical Obama supporters.

    2. Michael Cosgrove says:

      what John Galt said!

    3. PacMan says:

      Great response John G. – We should also mention her parents. They are down on luck and living hard times – Yet, they still teach their children to work hard and “live” her dream to succeed. This is an Old fashion American Success story. By the way I do not mind helping people like this directly or through my taxes. They are worth the investment. The rest of the lazy entitle people – take a close look and learn something!!

      1. Ben James says:

        “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,”

        Benjamin Franklin had it right….

        “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” – Ben Franklin

  36. factsintheway says:

    See???? Just give schools more money and the students will… oh… she homeless? Well she probably has rich parents… Oh, her parents are homeless too? Oh, well there’s some other explanation than being hard-working and motivated because we ALL KNOW that paying teachers and administrators more is what kids need in order to improve their intellect and perforamnce.

    1. Ande says:

      Just curious, but do you actually work in a school? I’ve worked in an inner city school and we definitely needed more money. Not for pay equity issues, as much as to buy resources for students. Having taught in a district using 20 year old books, not having enough books and workbooks for all my students and in a building that regularly ran out of things like toilet paper due to funding; it’s really frustrating to see comments about school funding boiled down to assumed greed on the part of teachers and administrators.

      1. rod says:

        Yes i have worked in a school and if you have too, we didn’t need more money, we needed administrators to stop stealing the money and going to worthless workshops.
        fire the worthless lower grade teachers so when we got them, they actually knew something other than what tennis shoes they lifted, or what party they wanted to be invited to.

        1. Exactly Rod…

          “Education” in this day and age is a scam… the largest portion of any school budget is salaries, benefits, and retirement. As parents and tax payers we lost control of the local schools to the state and federal governments decades ago. If I had children today they would be in a private school if I had to work a second job. I’m sure you read the story yesterday that administrators here in Texas have taken the doors off school bathrooms to try and prevent drugs, violence and sex…. well, how’s that government/union school system workin’ for ya??

          1. all amerikan girl says:

            > Some jack-off actually referred to the female subject as an “all american girl”. My ascription would be “all american parasite”. Genius is not a reflection of the passion for welfare, and fascist power that enables it. Have a nice day!

            1. Inverse137 says:

              No one has ever accused you of being an intellectual powerhouse, have they.

      2. renrah says:

        Ande – I doubt anyone begrudges money for school supplies. The main objection most have is probably things like the much higher benefits than private sector employees, or how the absolute worst teachers can’t be fired due to union associations or tenure. Read the book “Dumbing America Down” and you may be surprised what is actually happening in the public school system today – from singing praises to Obama to the left wing, enviro indoctrination going on. You may not believe it, but a main reason for “women’s lib” was to get women out of the house so the children could be taken care of by indoctrination centers, er, I mean daycare centers. Take a look here –

      3. crypticguise says:

        City schools in NJ like Newark, Camden and Trenton receive an average of 25,000 dollars per student compared to our local schools which receive 8,000 per student.

        You’re a perfect example of “educrats”, either teachers or administrators, in inner city schools. You are overpaid, and frankly have too many non-teaching positions. You need LESS MONEY, not more.

        The problem in inner city schools is primarily lack of two parent households and the underclass population being “serviced” by unionized public servants.

        1. Yawn.... says:

          So not having a 2 parent household make you the victim? Why because one or both of your parents didnt have moral values? How is this the tax payers issue, you may want to dicuss your grievances with you so-called “Parent(s)”. They can probably be found at one of the OWS rallies. If unions are the issue, maybe you should talk to the unionizer-in-chief, from what I read he knows quite a few of the union thigs leaders and could probably get a venue to air your concerns.

          Grow up already

          1. Huh? says:

            Wow, Yawn, I think you completely missed the point.

      4. Keith Greene says:

        Schools spend over 9,000/student get the liberals out and real learning will resume.

      5. Jeffery Topps says:

        You are so right. Education money goes through a funnel. When it finally reaches the classroom, there’s very little left for so-called educating or supplies.

    2. k Strong says:

      Just an aside teachers in Brentwood HS make as much as 120 k per year and its not a great school

    3. chris says:

      Give me a freaking break.

    4. UpChuck Liberals says:

      She’s motivated, unlike so many kids that are told that they’re owed something for nothing. As commented elsewhere, bad teachers and administrators need to be fired they are IMHO the prime reason, next to really stupid curriculum that schools and kids are failing society.

    5. Louis Emery says:

      I agree with your drift. In my experience as a scientist and learning about my peers’ education, there is no apparent correlation with home conditions. If you have a chance, talk to some immigrant Chinese scientist. Each of their stories is quite amazing.

      What scientists have in common is their curiosity and willingness to invest in themselves. One can start with zero or with a head-start (say, an educated parent); one eventually end up a scientist if that is a person’s goal.

      I used 20-year old books on chemistry and physics at the (free) public library when I was a kid. Science fundamentals don’t change with time. I didn’t “need” a good school to learn about science really because learning is free.

      1. RSK says:

        You are absolutely on the mark and I wish those that believe in “spending money is the only solution” would read your comment! I keep saying the same things too – the Archimedes Principle is the same whether published in a glossy $200 text book or an inexpensive text book.

  37. artemis133 says:

    Great work, Samantha! Keep on going! You’re already a big success!!

  38. Julian says:

    U go girl … U will become a great Marine Bioloogist

  39. 5thcommjarhead says:

    You have to look long and hard for a positive story these days. Thanks CBS for getting this into the mainstream. I wish Samatha well, she gives us a little hope for the future.

    1. Albert MacMeda says:

      I love how these people always have to try and introduce the politics of greed and envy into every discussion. Good call. In fact those who claim to be the 99%, if you do the math, usually are the .01%. Try it yourself. Take the largest number of people who show up for one of their pathetic events, divide it by the total population of the closest metro area and you will wind up with something at most near and more usually well below .01%

      1. Michael Cosgrove says:

        keep redefining the poverty level, nex’thing y’know, we’re all in poverty.

      2. Hal McCombs says:

        Wrong. The middle class DID get something for that’bailout’ – the bill.

      3. Proud mom in Ohio says:

        flawed logic…You are using world statistics, but most of the world doesn’t operate under a capitalistic system. And just because unemployment and poverty are going up, that doesn’t mean capitalism isn’t working. How did we build the infrastructure and wealth we used to enjoy?

        Bureaucratic interference and our tax code impede achieving the American dream. Look at the things kids do to earn money – baby sitting, shoveling snow, washing cars…how hard would it be for them to file all the forms and pay all the fees to conform with our system? Set us free to be successful!

      4. Il Bui says:

        Actually, those stats happens under Marxist Obamao. HE is the fraud…

      5. TomG says:

        Yes by BS redefining of poverty, my 5 boys are living in poverty. We’ll ignore that I make my morgage on our 2,000 sq ft home, have 2 good cars, enough food, hot&cold running water, electricity, gas service, a roof & $100,000+ in 401Ks, and before the market fell $50,000 in stocks, & decided to have my wife stay and raise the kids. After the home is paid it’ll be worth 270,000+inflation.

        This isn’t poverty, yet I’m sure there are many others defined as such by idiot govt offices because of income. Even if I lived in an apartment with no bank account I’d be middle class, compared to the worlds standards-nice place, food, electricity, cars, microwaves, TVs- because Capitalism works! It spreads the goods around. You don’t have to make a million a year to be rich. There are thousands of rich yaughts in marinas all over Americe due to capitalism. I have friends in Mexico who make 1/10 what I make and are middle class and have maids.

        Stop your envy and open your eyes. Try opening a business and find out why capitalism doesn’t work, due to govt interference. 21 yrs ago I was in Poland and a Lithuanian asked about my 30 yr old color photograph of me as a kid. The Russians all had black and white film because the Govt decided only the army needed color film, things were just beginning to change. In Russia, amputation was still a very common operation and other medical procedures were 30-40 yrs behind. Socialism sucks! Go enjoy it somewhere else!

      6. DamnYankee says:

        Government control is the reason behind economic inequality. Government control has forced us away from capitalism. You can’t look at just the last few months or years to find the answer or solution. It is why government control has virtually eliminated the study of history. You can control people if you control history. Finally, you cannot solve a problem unless you deal in the truth and the hardest part of solving a problem is finding the truth.

  40. no says:

    If her family lived in my state, I’d gladly open my home up to them. I have plenty of space and would be honored to have it put to great use by such a bright woman and a family that clearly adores her (seriously, look at that proud smile on her father’s face – if that doesn’t choke you up, nothing will).

  41. Leo says:

    Aristotle in his work On Poetry and Style “Men are what they are because of their characterization, but it is in their action that they find eudaimonia or the reverse.” Eudaimonia has not been translated into english, but it is a combination of nirvana, zen, happines, goals, etc. I wish you the best.

  42. I. V. Leeg says:

    Very happy for this young girl. Hope she wins first place.

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