Tuesday, January 24, 2012

American Dream

Tonight Samantha Garvey will be a special guest at President Obama's State of the Union address. Samantha Garvey is an 18-year-old senior at Brentwood High School on Long Island and an aspiring marine biologist. For two and a half years she researched the effects of the Asian shore crab on the ribbed mussel population in a salt marsh on the North Shore of Long Island. This work won her a place as a semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search, the premier science competition for high school students.

Now here's the amazing part of her story: Samantha got news of her award while she was living with her family in a homeless shelter. Her family was evicted from their home on New Year's Eve. Despite the family's hardship, Samantha maintains a 3.9 grade point average and is president of her school's chapter of the National Honor Society. She is ranked 4th out of 433 students in her grade and hopes to attend Brown or Yale.

And now some help has arrived. The Suffolk County Department of Social Services has located a house for the family. In addition, during a recent Ellen DeGeneres show, AT&T presented her with a $50,000 scholarship. Whole Foods and J.C. Penney have also made contributions.

On Wednesday Samantha will find out if she is one of the 40 Intel finalists for a top prize of $100,000. We hope there's more good news.