LONG ISLAND, N.Y., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- A homeless New York teen who is a semifinalist in a prestigious science contest has been invited to watch President Obama give the State of the Union address.
Samantha Garvey has garnered national attention by becoming one of 300 semifinalists for the Intel Science Talent Search for her research on predators' effects on mussels, despite living in a homeless shelter with her family, WCBS-TV, New York, reported Tuesday. The prize for winning the contest is $100,000.
Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., invited the teen to watch the Jan. 24 State of the Union address and asked her parents to watch from his office.
"I think she can teach those powerful people a lesson in perseverance, a lesson in not allowing setbacks to defeat you," Israel told WCBS.
Garvey's family, including a twin brother and sister, became homeless New Year's Day when their home was foreclosed on. Her parents had been out of work after a car accident.
A house in Bay Shore was given to the family Friday at a subsidized rate by Suffolk County, the New York Post reported Saturday. The house will be furnished by the Marriott Corp.
"This is the most amazing thing you could ask for," Garvey said. "We're all in tears here. This is what we've always wanted."