Samantha Garvey, Homeless Teen, Wins $50,000 Intel Scholarship (Now How about Everybody Else?)

Barry Lenson

Samantha Garvey, Homeless Teen, Wins $50,000 Intel Scholarship (Now How about Everybody Else?)

Samantha Garvey Wins $50,000 Intel Scholarship  There is no question that America really likes empowering “rags to riches” stories about deserving students who suddenly get big breaks.

One recent story to hit the news – big time – concerns a smart young woman named Samantha Garvey. An Associated Press story reports the story of this deserving young woman, who won a prestigious Intel $50,000 science scholarship thanks to some innovative research she did about the effects that a non-native species, the Asian short crab, is having on mussel populations on Long Island, New York. What makes her story unusual is that she and her family, due to financial difficulties, had been forced to move into a homeless shelter on New Year’s Eve.

The story was so newsworthy that Garvey was invited to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres show, where DeGeneres told her, “You are an inspiration to me and I hope to anybody else out there watching that is having a hard time or even people who aren't having a hard time and are complaining about petty things that are going on in their lives and they look at you and look at how you conduct yourself.” And things are definitely improving for this young woman’s family, which will soon be able to move into a newly renovated home.

We too feel great for Samantha Garvey. (After all, wouldn’t we be crabs if we felt otherwise? Or maybe mussels.) But we hope that her story will be more than a “feel good” human interest story that makes the news for a day and is then forgotten. We would like it to call attention to the predicament of thousands of smart American student who can’t afford to go to college.

If Ellen DeGeneres is reading this post, we have a suggestion. Ellen, why not invite other deserving students onto your show too, and showcase their need to find college funding? If hundreds of smart students get scholarships like Samantha did, we will all feel not just good, but great.

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