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Inspiring Stories

Fantastic Friday: Samantha Garvey Edition

And who is this Samantha Garvey person you may ask?

Just the normal story of a senior in high school whose parents get into a car accident…whose mother loses her job…whose family, including her parents and twin 13 year old siblings, then gets evicted from their house on New Years and then all end up in a homeless shelter….

Not exactly the best start to 2012…

But guess what?  While she knew her family was having economic problems, worried for months ahead of the eviction, and didn’t even know what address to give to have her senior pictures sent to, she was also busy becoming a science whiz, being named a semifinalist in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search while living at the shelter.  Only 300 students in the nation are selected.  Her story has gotten noticed now.  She’ll be a guest of her Congressman at the State of the Union address next week, and was just presented a $50,000 scholarship for when she attends college.

And unlike many in her situation who (justifiably) fail to overcome such obstacles, she use her family’s hardship as motivation to work even harder to succeed:

“My family’s setbacks are a source of motivation. I want to get my family ahead, which is why I do well in school,” Samantha told Newsday.

Karin Feil, a counselor at Brentwood High School, said, “Samantha’s will is unsurpassed. She has overcome more obstacles than any other student I’ve ever seen.”

Feil said Samantha maintains a 3.9 grade point average, and her faith lies in the fact that education will bring her — and her family — a better life.

Samantha is president of her school’s chapter of the National Honors Society, is ranked 4th out of 433 students in her grade, and hopes to attend Brown or Yale universities. She also takes courses in Italian and music; her favorite instrument is the violin.

But the best news of all?  The county is providing Samantha and her family a county-owned three bedroom, rent subsidized apartment to move into.

“This is just the most amazing thing you could ask for,” Garvey said.  “We’re all in tears here.  This is what we’ve always wanted.”

I can’t really say enough about how inspirational this is….just watch the video!



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