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Homeless Science Whiz Kid Is Not Named Science Prize Finalist

Samantha Garvey, the homeless teen who came into the national spotlight after she became a semifinalist in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search competition, has had a bittersweet 24 hours.

First the bitter part: When the science prize competition finalists were announced today, she was not on the list.

Now the sweet: Last night, Garvey attended President Obama's State of the Union address. As Mark reported, Garvey was invited by Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.).

Newsday reports that Garvey told NBC that flying to Washington for the event was a "once in lifetime" experience.

"It was the craziest feeling," Garvey said. Newsday adds:

"Garvey said was she was impressed by 'people who are so prominent, just standing there, right in front of you.'

She added: 'It was the longest I ever clapped.'

"Before the president's speech in the chamber of the House of Representatives, Garvey rubbed elbows with House Speaker John Boehner (R- Ohio) — Israel's colleague across the political aisle. And she also attended a reception hosted by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.