Samantha Garvey, 17, was awarded a $50,000 scholarship from AT&T on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this week for excelling in the field of science and technology. Garvey initially received widespread recognition when she became a finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search while her and her family were struggling through homelessness. The scholarship can be used at Garvey’s school of choice, and the soon-to-be marine biologist has her sights set high, aiming for top schools like Yale and Brown.
In her interview with DeGeneres, Garvey credited strong support and the recognition of education as a way out of poverty with helping her to overcome homelessness on the path to academic excellence. Now, in the span of only a few weeks, Garvey has gone from wondering where she will sleep from night to night to wondering where she’ll be signing up for undergraduate classes once she finishes high school. That doesn’t mean her family’s struggles are over, but things are looking up for Garvey’s family – the 17-year-old told DeGeneres that within a couple of days, her family is set to move into a new, permanent home. Garvey has also been invited to the State of the Union Address on January 24th. Not a bad few weeks for a young girl who has survived – or, better put, plowed through – immense obstacles.