Inspiring Young Latina of the Week: Samantha Garvey

This week’s featured Inspiring Young Latina of the Week is named Samantha Garvey. The Salvadoran-American teenager has inspired her community and our nation with her determination to succeed against all odds. In December, the New York student and her family were evicted from their home and forced to live in a homeless shelter. Despite facing this challenge, Garvey maintained a 3.9 grade point average and became a semifinalist for a prestigious science competition. We are so proud of her strength, courage, and perseverance!

Why Samantha inspires us:

The Brentwood High School senior has become a household name since being invited to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. The homeless teen garnered national attention after becoming a semifinalist in Intel’s science competition for her research in mussel population.

Since then, the future marine biologist has appeared on several shows including, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” where she received a $50,000 college scholarship from AT&T. During her appearance, she explained what drives her everyday, “Science has always been big for me…Being able to focus on something else is my way out.” Garvey added, “I decided that if I keep doing what I love, I’m able to make a better life for myself.”

Her positive outlook on life and family’s support has also helped her along the way. During an interview with NBC News, the young student explained, “My parents, they always said, ‘Keep your head up. If you look down and you just keep moping, nothing’s gonna come out of it.’ And I always took that to heart. And I just kept a positive mentality.”

Garvey and her family have a lot to be thankful for. Since news broke about their economic hardship, Suffolk County’s Department of Social Services offered the family a home through their affordable housing program. Garvey is still in awe by everyone’s kindness, "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.”

Do you know an inspiring young Latina? If so, email us at!