samantha garvey from homelessness to high honor

Samantha Garvey – From Homelessness to High Honor!

In January 2012, high school senior Samantha Garvey was facing a very tough time. Her family, who had endured financial difficulties throughout her childhood, had just lost their home and had to take refuge in a local shelter. Samantha was a gifted, hard-working student, but her situation made it hard for her to focus.

Then came great news……Samantha’s dedication to her studies had paid off! She had recently completed a 2.5 year scientific study as part of the Intel Science Talent Search, and it earned her a spot as a semi-finalist! Although Samantha did not make the finals of the Intel competition, her determination and success in the face of such odds has been rewarded in many other ways. She has made TV appearances, attended the State of the Union address, participated in the White House Science Fair, and received a $50,000 college scholarship! And best of all, Samantha has the power of knowing that she has overcome great challenges and created a path for lifelong success!

In this video, Samantha appears on the Ellen show and receives her $50,000 scholarship!

Additional Resources:

  • Here is an article that tells all about Samantha and her incredible success.
  • Here is a video of Samantha telling her amazing story.

Topics for Discussion:

  • Why is it so important to Samantha to excel in her studies the way she does?
  • Have you ever overcome a challenge to gain success? How?

Take Action:

  • Visit the StandUp for Kids website to learn how you can help homeless kids like Samantha!
  • Visit the Teach for America website to learn how you can help support the education of kids in poverty.

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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