Samantha Garvey at State of Union speech

Rep. Steve Israel, center, introduces Samantha Garvey, left,

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

Samantha Garvey, the Brentwood High School senior who became a semifinalist in the Intel science competition, lived the life of a diplomat Tuesday, touring Washington offices, meeting top U.S. government advisers and attending President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech.

Garvey, who became homeless Jan. 1 after her parents fell behind on their rent -- a story that touched Long Islanders -- was invited to Washington by Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills).

The 18-year-old science whiz, whose family is set to move into a county-owned house in Bay Shore this month, dashed off to the inner Beltway venues Tuesday afternoon with her family and high school science adviser, Rebecca Grella.

She was escorted about the Capitol building by Israel, with whom she lunched on pizza before an array of meetings and dinner with Israel and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Jane Lubchenco.

Before the president's speech in the chamber of the House of Representatives, she even rubbed elbows with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) -- Israel's colleague across the political aisle. And she also attended a reception hosted by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Garvey's work on the striped mussel landed her the coveted spot in the Intel competition.

She is among more than 60 students across Long Island who were named semifinalists in the prestigious national contest. There were 300 semifinalists nationwide and 105 in New York.

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