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Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey smiles during her graduation (Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey smiles during her graduation ceremony at Brentwood High School Saturday. The once homeless teen will be attending Bowdoin College to study marine biology this fall. (June 23, 2012)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey

Brentwood High School senior Samantha Garvey, who spent 2 1/2 years on a marine-life study, is one of 61 Long Island students with a shot at the $100,000 top prize in the national 2012 Intel science competition.

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey smiles and waves to
(Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey smiles and waves to family members at her graduation ceremony at Brentwood High School Saturday. The once homeless teen will be attending Bowdoin College to study marine biology this fall. (June 23, 2012)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey smiles as she receives
(Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey smiles as she receives her diploma at her graduation ceremony at Brentwood High School Saturday. The once homeless teen will be attending Bowdoin College to study marine biology this fall. (June 23, 2012)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey smiles during her graduation
(Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey smiles during her graduation ceremony at Brentwood High School Saturday. The once homeless teen will be attending Bowdoin College to study marine biology this fall. (June 23, 2012)

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Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey, left, is honored with
(Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey, left, is honored with classmate Keyla Blaco Gomez as they both receive the Attorney General's "Triple C" award during their graduation ceremony at Brentwood High School Saturday. Garvey will be attending Bowdoin College to study marine biology this fall. (June 23, 2012)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey smiles during her graduation
(Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey smiles during her graduation ceremony at Brentwood High School Saturday. The once homeless teen will be attending Bowdoin College to study marine biology this fall. (June 23, 2012)

Samantha Garvey holds up the keys to her
(Credit: Jm Staubitser)

Samantha Garvey holds up the keys to her new home in Bay Shore. (Jan. 28, 2012)

The Garveys stand outside their new home in
(Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile)

The Garveys stand outside their new home in Bay Shore with Rebecca Grella. The Garveys are: Samantha, with the orange scarf; siblings Kenneth and Erika, both 13; and parents Olga and Leo. (Jan 28, 2012).

The Garveys with Samantha's science research teacher Rebecca
(Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile)

The Garveys with Samantha's science research teacher Rebecca Grella, third from right. (Jan 28, 2012).

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Surrounded by family and her science teacher, Samantha
(Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile)

Surrounded by family and her science teacher, Samantha Garvey holds the keys to her family's new home in Bay Shore. (Jan 28, 2012).

The Garveys lounge in their new living room.
(Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile)

The Garveys lounge in their new living room. (Jan 28, 2012).

The Garveys in their new Bay Shore home.
(Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile)

The Garveys in their new Bay Shore home. (Jan 28, 2012).

Left to right: The Garvey family -- Samantha;
(Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile)

Left to right: The Garvey family -- Samantha; Erika, 13; mother Olga; Kenneth, 13; and father Leo -- try out the new living room with science teacher Rebecca Grella. (Jan 28, 2012).

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone hands Samatha Garvey
(Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile)

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone hands Samatha Garvey the keys to her family's new house in Bay Shore. (Jan 28, 2012).

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On right, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone shares
(Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile)

On right, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone shares a light moment with Samantha Garvey and her teacher Rebecca Grella as he gives Samantha the keys to the house in Bay Shore. (Jan 28, 2012).

Samantha Garvey applauds during President Barack Obama's State
(Credit: Charlie Archambault)

Samantha Garvey applauds during President Barack Obama's State of the Union address in the House Chamber. (Jan. 24, 2012)

Brentwood High School senior Samantha Garvey poses in
(Credit: Office of Rep. Steve Israel)

Brentwood High School senior Samantha Garvey poses in front of the U.S. Capitol Building with Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills). (Jan. 24, 2012)

Rep. Steve Israel, center, introduces Samantha Garvey, left,
(Credit: Facebook photo)

Rep. Steve Israel, center, introduces Samantha Garvey, left, to House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi in Washington D.C.. (Jan. 24, 2012)

Rep. Steve Israel points out features during a
(Credit: Facebook photo)

Rep. Steve Israel points out features during a tour of the Capitol Building with Samantha Garvey, center. (Jan. 24, 2012)

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Rep. Steve Israel gives Samantha Garvey, center, a
(Credit: Facebook photo)

Rep. Steve Israel gives Samantha Garvey, center, a tour of Statuary Hall, where the media was setting up to interview lawmakers after the State of the Union. (Jan. 24, 2012)

In such disbelief, Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr.)

In such disbelief, Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist Samantha Garvey talks to the media during a press conference announcing a new home for the homeless Brentwood High School senior and her family at Brentwood High School. (Jan 13, 2012)

Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist Samantha Garvey talks
(Credit: Newsday/ J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist Samantha Garvey talks to the media during a news conference announcing a new home for the homeless Brentwood High School senior and her family. (Jan. 13, 2012)

Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist Samantha Garvey right
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.)

Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist Samantha Garvey right gets a hug from her science research teacher during a press conference where Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced that the homeless Garvey family has a new home at Brentwood High School. (Jan 13, 2012)

Joe Sammartano, of Village Video News, hooks up
(Credit: James Carbone)

Joe Sammartano, of Village Video News, hooks up an ear piece to Samantha Garvey at the studio in West Babylon where they were interviewed by HNL news, affliate for CNN news. (Jan. 12, 2012)

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Samantha Garvey and Alex Harwood, of Bay Shore,
(Credit: Rebecca Grella)

Samantha Garvey and Alex Harwood, of Bay Shore, log data about mussel populations at Flax Pond in Old Field. (June 2010)

Samantha Garvey examines juvenile mussels at Flax Pond
(Credit: Rebecca Grella)

Samantha Garvey examines juvenile mussels at Flax Pond in Old Field. (June 2010)

Samantha Garvey works with juvenile mussel samples at
(Credit: Rebecca Grella)

Samantha Garvey works with juvenile mussel samples at a Stony Brook University lab. (July 2011)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey, 17, at Brentwood High
(Credit: James Carbone)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey, 17, at Brentwood High School the day after the announcement. (Jan. 12, 2012)

Samantha Garvey, an Intel semifinalist whose family is
(Credit: James Carbone)

Samantha Garvey, an Intel semifinalist whose family is homeless, and her father Leo Garvey at Village Video studios in West Babylon where they were interviewed by HNL news, affliate for CNN news. (Jan. 12, 2012)

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Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey, 17, was all smiles
(Credit: James Carbone)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey, 17, was all smiles at Brentwood High School the day after the announcement. (Jan. 12, 2012)

Leo Garvey, Olga Garvey and Samantha Natalie Garvey,
(Credit: Chris Ware)

Leo Garvey, Olga Garvey and Samantha Natalie Garvey, 17, of Bay Shore, are shown at Brentwood High School. Samantha was nominated as an Intel semifinalist. (Jan. 11, 2012)

Samantha Garvey, 17, a senior at Brentwood High
(Credit: Chris Ware)

Samantha Garvey, 17, a senior at Brentwood High School and a semifinalist in the 2012 Intel science research competition, says her parents, Olga and Leo Garvey, have encouraged her to excel. (Jan. 11, 2012)

Brentwood High School senior Samantha Garvey, 17, third
(Credit: Chris Ware)

Brentwood High School senior Samantha Garvey, 17, third from right, with -- from left -- her brother, Kenneth, 13; her father, Leo; her sister, Erika, who is Kenneth's twin; her science research teacher, Rebecca Grella; and her mom, Olga. (Jan. 11, 2012)

Samantha Natalie Garvey, 17, of Bay Shore, is
(Credit: Chris Ware)

Samantha Natalie Garvey, 17, of Bay Shore, is shown at Brentwood High School. Samantha, whose family is homeless, was nominated as an Intel Semifinalist.

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Samantha Garvey, a senior at Brentwood High School,
(Credit: Chris Ware)

Samantha Garvey, a senior at Brentwood High School, wants to become a marine biologist. She is president of the school chapter of the National Honor Society and is taking four Advanced Placement courses. She has a 3.9 grade-point average and ranks No. 4 in a class of 433, her guidance counselor says. (Jan. 11, 2012)

Intel science contest semifinalist Samantha Garvey is no
(Credit: Chris Ware)

Intel science contest semifinalist Samantha Garvey is no stranger to prestigious science competitions. She was a 2010 semifinalist in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, a rival research contest for students. (Jan. 11, 2012)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey, 17, of Brentwood High
(Credit: Handout)

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey, 17, of Brentwood High School. The 17-year-old senior cites her motivation to excel in school despite obstacles and setbacks: her parents' encouragements and support and her belief that education will bring her -- and her family -- a better life. Project: The Effects of the Physical Environment and Predators on Phenotypic Plasticity in Geukensia demiss.

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