Homeless Teen's Success Proves Kids Who Don't Get 'Everything' Can Still Do Anything

samantha garveySomething I worry about as a parent (kind of a lot) is the fact that I don't have the means to give my kids every opportunity I want to give them. I wish I could expose them to every amazing, enriching, curious, fantastic thing in the world right now. Now, while their minds and hearts are still open to the possibility of anything and everything.

It feels like my kids are limited by my limited resources, and that kills me.

So I can only imagine how 17-year-old Samantha Garvey's parents must have felt when the family was evicted from their Long Island home on New Year's Eve. Knowing that their intelligent, hard-working, enthusiastic daughter with the dreams of becoming a marine biologist would now be doing her homework in a homeless shelter.


It would break any parent's heart. And Samantha's parents must have felt so helpless: Her mother Olga, a nurse's assistant, had been out of work for 8 months following a car accident; her father Leo, a cab driver, couldn't cover all the family's bills on his salary.

To me, that eviction notice would have felt like the death warrant for my daughter's hopes and ambitions.

But it wasn't. Far from it!

The family had only been living in the shelter for a few days when Samantha got the best news of her life. She was named a semi-finalist in the super-prestigious national Intel Science Talent Search for her work researching local marine life, one of the 300 students chosen from 1,838 applicants nationwide. The honor means that Samantha is now in the running for a $100,000 scholarship.

And it gets better. Since the announcement, the Garveys have been placed by social services in a fixed rate 3-bedroom rental home. Samantha was offered an internship by the county to work on marine and fisheries issues. And as news of Samantha's accomplishment spreads, the donations are pouring in -- one anonymous donor even paid for Samantha's 4-year-old pit bull to be vaccinated (she was afraid the dog would be euthanized when the family had no home).

I'm beyond thrilled for Samantha and her family (and her dog). I'm actually grateful. Because while Samantha Garvey's parents couldn't give her everything, they obviously gave her something -- and whatever they gave her was enough to make her dreams come true.

And as a parent who can't give my kids everything, that gives me hope.

Do you ever worry about not being able to give your kids enough?

Image via CNN

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