Samantha Garvey is a 17-year-old homeless teenager. She’s also an aspiring biologist and has recently been named a semifinalist in the prestigious national Intel science competition.
Garvey is one of 300 teenagers around the country who will compete for the $100,000 prize in the national Intel Science Talent Search. But even if Garvey doesn’t win the award, her family is already seeing the benefits of Garvey’s scientific work.
ABC reports that donations have been pouring in and the county is working on finding Garvey and her family a home to rent.
“This is just the most amazing thing you could ask for. “It’s unbelievable. It might as well be the lottery.”
The Long Island teen has been studying the Mussel population in the Long Island salt march for the last two years. Garvey has found that the mussels are able to develop a thicker skin after surviving an attack.
Rebecca Grella, Garvey’s science research teacher, said:
“What Sam found was that, like after anyone, after being attacked you develop a tough skin of shell. These mussels were able to increase their thickness and protect themselves against their predator.”
Fox reports that Garvey and her family were evicted from their home on New Year’s Eve. Garvey’s mother, Olga, was working as a nurse’s assistant but hasn’t worked in the last eight months due to a car accident and her father, Leo, couldn’t keep up with the bills on his salary as a cab drive alone.
Garvey will find out in two weeks if she has made it to the finals in the Intel Science Talent Search.