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    New York teen flexes her mussels

    Date: 01.24.12 | by Judge Tom.

    Samantha Garvey is a 17-year-old senior at Brentwood High School in New York. She has a 3.9 grade point average, studies Italian and plays the violin.  A special interest in science has resulted in her becoming a semi-finalist in the annual Intel Science Talent search. The competition carries an award of $100,000.00 in scholarship funds.

    Samantha’s interest in marine biology led her to study the effects of predators on ribbed mussels. She spent two years researching the effects of the Asian short crab on the mussel population in a Long Island salt marsh. I get so excited to tell people about my mussels and crabs that I become a completely different person,” she said. Samantha follows her dad’s advice to “Pick your head up and keep on going. You can sit around and mope, but what’s that going to get you?”


    Samantha and her family have fallen on hard times to the point where they recently ended up in a homeless shelter. Her mother was involved in a car accident in 2011 and was off work for eight months. Her father is a cab driver and couldn’t keep up with the bills for his family that included Samantha and two younger siblings. On New Year’s Eve of 2011, they were evicted from their home. Once word got out about her accomplishments in school, local authorities got together to provide them a rent-subsidized house.  Samantha has applied to Brown and Yale Universities and hopes to begin her college career in the fall. The finalists in the Intel competition were announced at the end of January and Samantha didn’t make the cut. Regardless, her future is bright and we look forward to great things from her.

    Sam’s college dreams will come true with a gift from AT&T announced in January, 2012. They are giving Sam $50,000.00 towards her university expenses. Samantha’s recent appearance on the Ellen Show is posted here.  Her down-to-earth attitude and wisdom about facing life’s challenges are refreshing. An additional surprise came to Samantha when she was invited to attend President Obama’s State of the Union address on January 24, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

    Update: Samantha graduated from Brentwood High School in June, 2012 and will start Bowdoin College in Maine this fall. She will be majoring in maring biology. All the best, Samantha!! On September 6, 2012, President Obama accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party to run for a second term. In his remarks he stated that young people like Samantha “gives me hope” for the future.

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    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    • Tulsa Divorce Lawyers
      Tue, 24 Jan 2012 at 08:30

      It sounds like AT&T stepped up big!! Samantha is a winner who deserves to be rewarded for her perservance.