(NEW YORK) — In the past week, Samantha Garvey‘s love of mussels has given her family a home and saved her a seat at President Obama’s State of the Union address.
Garvey, a homeless high school senior with a 3.9 grade point average, garnered recognition after she became a semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search for her work studying the effects of predators on mussels.
Inspired by her story of overcoming the odds, Long Island Rep. Steve Israel offered Garvey a coveted gallery ticket to the Jan. 24 State of the Union address.
Israel is not the first person who was motivated to act after hearing Garvey’s story. Suffolk county official Steve Bellone announced last week that Garvey and her family, who have lived in shelters and hotels for years, could soon move into a rent-subsidized home.
Garvey will find out next month whether she’s a finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search, the top prize is $100,000.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Matt McFarland, CNN
Ian Kerner, CNN
Eli Watkins, CNN
Ivaylo Vezenkov and Lauren del Valle, CNN