A New York high school student who attracted national attention after it was reported that she was living in a homeless shelter is not among the 40 finalists in the prestigious Intel Science contest.
Brentwood High School senior Samantha Garvey was named a semifinalist last month. The finalists were announced Wednesday.
After Garvey's situation came to light, Suffolk County officials said they were arranging for her family to move into a house. She also appeared on the "Ellen" show, where she received a $50,000 college scholarship from AT&T.
On Tuesday, she was an invited guest at President Barack Obama's State of the Union address — and took away an autographed copy of the speech.
In an appearance Wednesday on NBC's TODAY show, Garvey said the presence of so many "historical figures" in Washington made her want to combine her studies in science with policy. "I want to do what they do," she said.
Garvey said she saw scientific research as her "ticket out" of a challenging situation.
"Throughout all the things I've faced, I've been able to go to school and get my education, and then pursue my research and do my studies," she said. "That's been my way out. That's enabled me to keep focused and keep me from going off track."
This report includes information from The Associated Press and msnbc.com.