NYC
01/29/2012 11:57 am ET Updated Mar 30, 2012

Samantha Garvey, Once-Homeless Teen Nominated For Science Award, Moves Into New Home (VIDEO)

BAY SHORE, N.Y. -- A New York teen who was living at a homeless shelter when she was picked as a semifinalist in a prestigious national science competition has moved into her new home.

Samantha Garvey and her family were handed the keys to their house in Bay Shore, Long Island on Saturday.

Garvey says she was "overwhelmed" by the support and generosity she's received since being named a semifinalist in the Intel Science contest last month. She wasn't among the 40 finalists.

"I was homeless, and I didn''t have a house, and because of the kindness of all these strangers, I do--I have a house! I couldn't have gotten here without education--you make the best of it because it's the end to so many things," Garvey told Newsday.

The Brentwood High School senior and her family had been living in a homeless shelter when her two years of research on a mussel population garnered her accolades.

Suffolk County officials helped find a three-bedroom home where the family could live. Officials also noted that Garvey's family received no special treatment. Deputy Social Services Commissioner Edward Hernandez told the Daily News, "It's perfect timing. The house opened up while they were in the shelter. They're exactly the type of family that is eligible for this program. They can stay until they don't need it anymore."

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