Intel Semifinalist Samantha Garvey, 17, left, is comforted by her sister, Erika Garvey, 13, center, and brother, Kenneth Garvey, 13, right, during an announcement by Suffolk County officials, Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, at Brentwood High School in Brentwood, NY. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced the placement of the homeless Garvey family into a three bedroom home in neighboring Bay Shore. Garvey is one of 61 students who have a chance at the competition's top prize of $100,000. The 17-year-old and her family moved into a homeless shelter on Jan. 1. Suffolk County officials made the housing announcement Friday morning at Brentwood High School, where Garvey is a senior. County official Steve Bellone says Garvey and her family can move into the house in about 10 days. ( AP Photo/John Dunn)
BRENTWOOD, N.Y. -- A homeless New York teen who's a semifinalist in a prestigious national science contest has been invited to watch President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.
Brentwood High School senior Samantha Garvey has been invited to the Jan. 24 speech as a guest of Long Island Congressman Steve Israel.
Garvey's story of academic success despite financial hardships has gained nationwide attention.
Last week, she was named one of 300 semifinalists in the Intel science contest. She's living in a homeless shelter, although Suffolk County officials are renovating a home for the Garvey family.
Israel said he was moved by the aspiring marine biologist's story.
He's offered Garvey a prestigious gallery ticket. Her parents would watch from Israel's office.
Her father told Newsday they'd love to go.