by the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - For two and a half years, Samantha Garvey has immersed herself in New York's Long Island salt marshes - prodding, examining and questioning, all in the name of science.
But after a hard day's work, at school or in the field, the high school senior hasn't been able to head home at night. That's because she doesn't have a home.
The 17-year-old has not let living in a homeless shelter deter her from her dreams. On Wednesday, she was named one of 300 semifinalists in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search, putting her in contention to earn a $100,000 college scholarship.
"She is very special," her father, Leo Garvey, told HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell on Thursday night. "She's a hard worker, very driven and dedicated to anything and everything that she does."
Along with her studies at Brentwood High School, situated about half the length of Long Island some 45 miles east of New York, Samantha Garvey has spent much of her spare time working with marine biologists.FULL STORY