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Homeless Student Is Intel Talent Search Semifinalist

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the dedication-to-science dept.

Education 464

An anonymous reader writes "Samantha Garvey, a senior at Brentwood High School, has managed to become one of the remaining 300 semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search this year. Her research focused on mussels and on her discovery that they change the thickness of their shells if a predator such as crabs are introduced. Why is Garvey's achievement so impressive? Because she and her entire family are homeless, and rely on a local homeless shelter. Such a situation would stop many students from being able to focus on studying, let alone a research project, but Garvey has instead used her situation as motivation."

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464 comments

I really hate this article (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693102)

This is the first time in my life that a homeless person made me feel like a loser.

Re:I really hate this article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693142)

I bet it won't be the last.

The truth? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693906)

Did they throw her a bone because she was homeless? Probably. I know, you'll all flame me for this, but this is a big corporation just trying to look like it has a heart. She probably did a decent job, but I doubt she deserved to win based on the description of the project.

Re:I really hate this article (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693146)

I don't know why, this story is perfectly cromulent.

Remember, a noble spirit embiggens the smallest of men. Or young women, as is the case.

Re:I really hate this article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693510)

That's unpossible...

Re:I really hate this article (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693162)

Go ahead and be crabby; she will just gain even more mussels.

Re:I really hate this article (1)

johnsnails (1715452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693918)

haha!

The Truly Important Question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693260)

Is she black?

While the poverty of herself and her entire family would suggest that she is black, I'm guessing she cannot be black since she's doing a scientific research project.

Re:I really hate this article (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693458)

You're modded funny, but it's a serious matter. Remember this next time you decide that the poor and homeless are just bums who got where they are because of their own failings. The fact is any one of us could be there and might one day end up there through no fault of our own. It is by far more likely than it is for us to join the rich crowd.

I hope this helps lift her and her family out of their situation.

Re:I really hate this article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693786)

Your logic is flawed. The article isn't about a girl who was the semifinalist and became homeless... it's about a homeless person succeeding due to their own will. This means that they have been empowered out of homelessness. It demonstrates that it's perfectly possible for others to do the same but requires a real drive to do so.

Unless you mean the low/middle class does not strive for success, is likely to become homeless on their own accord, and is not likely to be able to recover due to this absent quality. Then I agree with your statement.

The real question is if she will continue to strive and become rich.

Re:I really hate this article (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693958)

Your logic is flawed, too. By no means is "becoming rich" guaranteed by "striving".

I think sjames' post takes this concept to it's logical conclusion, which is even if you work very, very hard, you are still more likely to end up homeless than one of the super rich elite these days (although he also implies that both of these results are unlikely, just one more so than the other).

And by the way, I'm now fuckin depressed by you both.

Re:I really hate this article (0, Flamebait)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693960)

I take it this AC is a wonderfully wealthy douchebag. Anyone else?

Re:I really hate this article (1)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38694080)

She hasn't "been empowered out of homelessness." She's still homeless.

Update: in ten days her family will be moving into a rent-subsidized house.

Re:I really hate this article (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693822)

I work in a public education institution that uses data points to determine student's homeless (and other demo. stats) status. It is not what most people think, The key way this is determined in most cases is if the student's resident address mortgage/rental agreement is not in their parent/guardian's name.

In other words if their parents go over-seas for work for several months and leave them at their brother's $1.2M home and list that address, since the parent's names are not listed for the property address the state/fed govt. will classify them as homeless and in poverty and they can collect all kinds of benefits/payments since they are "homeless" (and not the living on the street kind)

I don't trust these type of generic stats without some serious detail of what definition is used. There are still too many scamming the system and these BS data definitions too even remotely take those labels seriously

Re:I really hate this article (3, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38694046)

I sincerely doubt she (or practically ANY of the others) are living in someone's 1.2M mansion. Especially since TFA specifically said she and her family rely on a homeless shelter. Did you think they were just slumming?

Re:I really hate this article (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693688)

Most likely because they can't afford a TV and she has to read for entertainment.

Someone ask her who Kim Kardasean is.

Re:I really hate this article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693924)

Someone ask her who Kim Kardasean is.

A fucking immature, petty, useless whore who deserves to be homeless a hell of a lot more than this student does?

Same kind of manipulative, egotistic, useless, immature bitch you find on shows like Jersey Shore. Please, please, please can we stop glorifying and publicising this kind of "person"?

She has a brighter future... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693152)

On the streets whoring herself out on the streets for money.

Re:She has a brighter future... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693520)

My first thought as well. Women's best path if they look at least as good as her is to learn the ways of being sweet to and pleasuring male clients, and exploiting their best years (starting at her age) as escorts. Marry a sucker around 30, maybe sooner if she's hooked a good prospect, all the while saving for her future. Have a kid, divorce the guy, collect alimony.

This "talent contest" is cute, and a nice way to get PR for Intel. It, of course, works for those who win the contest, but it suffers from a major problem of scope in terms of being something to aspire to.

That problem is the superstar mentality. It's seen in sports, and it's being brought into all other areas as well. The slightest hint of musical talent? Maybe your son will be the next Curtis Jackson! Your son tops the scoreboards of a public server in Quake? If Jonathan Wendel can brand himself into a success, why can't your little Jimmy?

The problem, though obvious and following directly from material in the first day of Econ 101, must still be explicitly spelled out and repeated again and again: expected value. Either you take the +EV move and build a comfortable life, or you roll the dice. Ever the worse for instilling the rationality of the choice, too, if that 1 in 10,000 chance actually pays off, because, behold, there the camera is: focused on the winner, and not the 9999 Walmart employees.

Re:She has a brighter future... (2)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38694034)

While that's horribly sexist and a generally cynical and unpleasant way of looking at the world, I have to admit you have a point. Yes, what you have described is a legitimate career path to becoming a rich and influential woman. I'd imagine that most of us (trolls aside) would prefer to live in a world where all women find a fulfilling and challenging career in, say, science or the arts rather than thinly veiled prostitution, but the fact that the career path you describe even exists is a pretty damning view of western society.

Great! (2)

32771 (906153) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693154)

You guys over there need more homeless people.

Re:Great! (5, Funny)

pluther (647209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693886)

We're working on it!

Succeeding in a public school, yet! (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693158)

Well done of her to rise up and be counted. Amazingly, despite everything thrown at her by people who would go so far as to condemn her for the social and financial position of her family, she's using it as self-motivation. Has to be cruel to be homeless and one of the National School Lunch Program kids in a world where many children go out of their way (starving effectively) to hide the shame of their family's misfortune.

Any candidates for public office feel like giving her parents some employment or shall we go the usual route, use her as an example the American Dream isn't dead, yet, and then abandon them for the next popular thing on the campaign trail?

I don't get it (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693160)

The summary says her research is based on her family living arrangements. Is she planning on growing a shell or something?

Re:I don't get it (4, Funny)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693222)

The summary says her research is based on her family living arrangements. Is she planning on growing a shell or something?

Perhaps. I would imagine crabs being introduced into a homeless shelter is not that uncommon.

Re:I don't get it (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693238)

Maybe one of her siblings is a geek that uses C shell.

Re:I don't get it (2)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693982)

Oh you shellfish bastard!

Re:I don't get it (1)

jcombel (1557059) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693240)

The summary does not say this.

Exception or the rule? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693182)

So are all homeless people geniuses or have they just stumbled across one homeless person who happens to have a brilliant mind and extrapolated that finding to all homeless people?

Re:Exception or the rule? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693430)

It's the long tail and unfortunately this kind of thing tends to be used as justification for cutting benefits for people in poverty. Because clearly if the other homeless weren't so lazy they wouldn't be homeless.

Re:Exception or the rule? (5, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693468)

In all probability, homeless people will follow the same distribution curve as everyone else. That would imply that 2% of all homeless people have an IQ of 148 or above (UK's IQ scale, use your local Mensa entry requirement to figure out what's equal to that) and that 30.9% [conferenceboard.ca] would be able to complete a degree program if given the opportunity.

The Great Source of Wisdom [wikipedia.org] says that there's up to 2 million people in the US who are homeless at any given time, some on a more permanent basis than others. It's a fair bet that even the transients aren't really able to get into a university though.

That would give you 40,000 people of Mensa-level intelligence and around 618,000 people who would be able to complete further education. Finding one person of either level of ability shouldn't be that hard or even unusual - 40,000 people can't be easy to miss and well over half a million should be blatantly obvious.

Now, the median income of people with a bachelor's degree [ed.gov] was 40K in 2009. That's the 25% tax bracket. So, the government is losing 10K per year per person who could have a degree but doesn't, which works out to $6.18 billion just from lost income tax revenue. That's ignoring anything such people might invent or contribute to society (and it's clear from even the one example that these are people who are just as able to contribute as anyone) along with all the money the government could collect from businesses as a result of such contributions. That's a hell of a lot of money to be throwing away. I like pragmatic socialism (note the "pragmatic" part) and social justice, so naturally I want fewer homeless people for those reasons. Particularly because I'm pragmatic - that's over half a million potential innovations that won't happen, over half a million potential entrepreneurs that won't get to start anything... Yes, there will always be homeless and the country can't afford to take care of everyone, we all know that, but this goes well beyond what is sane or rational. The desire to be seen as anti-socialist has become moronic and self-destructive.

Nobody can help everybody, but $6bln aught to be more than enough to cover the costs of helping far, far more than we are.

Re:Exception or the rule? (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693592)

In all probability, homeless people will follow the same distribution curve as everyone else

Sorry, but I seriously doubt that. A very large percentage of the homeless population are there because they have mental disorders. I'm pretty sure that there's a much larger proportion of people with an IQ of 80 than those who have an IQ of 120

Re:Exception or the rule? (4, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38694010)

You are correct about the mental disorders, but bipolar people are famous for unusually high IQs as are people with HFA and LFA, and all of these have mental disorders that cause considerable problems with social interactions of any kind (including keeping a roof over their heads).

Mental disorder rates by State [ca.gov]

90% of homeless in UK excluded from education [bbc.co.uk]

IQ study in US [nih.gov] shows "WAIS-R scores were comparable to population means".

Re:Exception or the rule? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38694030)

Yes and many of theses disorders are treatable, if you have enough money... Otherwise if you have a depressive episode or some other problem (but depression is the most common psychological disease) and end up out of work before your diagnoses you are stuffed and will stay needlessly unemployable and therefore homeless permanently. Note that a socialized, or government payed private provided medical system solves this.

Re:Exception or the rule? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38694032)

Hah! Mensa, only slightly less irritating than menses!

How is this even... (5, Insightful)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693192)

America (I'm addressing you as a whole).

How is it that you allow young people, let alone whole families, to be homeless, to live in "shelters".

WTF is wrong with you people?!

You are supposedly the most powerful nation on earth, the wealthiest, the nation that is spoken to exude opportunity and success from every pore.

And you have whole families, school children, living in homeless shelters.

I don't care how they came to be in the situation, it doesn't matter how that happened, what matters is resolving it, providing the social, housing, and financial support to ensure that every body can call somewhere home.

For every one remarkable individual like this who manages to overcome the adversity, I hate to think how many are dragged down by the circumstance.

Re:How is this even... (5, Insightful)

Ouchie (1386333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693230)

Income inequality is just envy. - Mitt Romney

Re:How is this even... (5, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693290)

America (I'm addressing you as a whole).
How is it that you allow young people, let alone whole families, to be homeless, to live in "shelters".


Name the country that does not have homeless people. Not saying the US does not have problems (oh hells yes we do!), but there are homeless everywhere.

Re:How is this even... (5, Insightful)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693460)

Name the country that does not have homeless people.

Yea, that's telling 'em. America, the great and power, is just as powerless as everyone else to resolve a social problem that may be unsolvable. Of course, America isn't really interested in solving that social problem. I don't mean this as a slander or an insult. It's precisely the belief in a sort of Social Darwinism that has made the US such a great power (it also helps that it has a lot of natural resources and a climate that readily allows for most of their extraction, a relatively large amount of space which keeps down the cost of living in most the country, and an effective imperialist agenda not unlike many other empires of the past which might have more to do with it) that keeps a lot of social reform discussion from even coming up; I mean, why fight against a gifted horse just to help a few people? Then there is...

Not saying the US does not have problems (oh hells yes we do!), but there are homeless everywhere.

Hunger is everywhere. Vaccinatable childhood diseases are everywhere. A need for high-speed travel for the movement of both goods and people exists everywhere. The desire for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness exists everywhere. I guess we can't actually do anything about any of the above then, though. I mean, the US has problems...like homelessness..so we can't actually discuss working to fix homelessness. That's some master deflection; how about at least trying in the slightest to offer a few valid ideas on why homelessness can't be eradication entirely? That'd probably be an actually valid argument. Of course, that still leaves the potential of homeless almost being entirely eradicated (ie, that the few special cases that show homelessness is inherently inevitable doesn't explain not dealing with homelessness for the vast majority of the homeless).

Re:How is this even... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693892)

The only solution to homelessness is empowerment. If you give them money, some will abuse that money. If you give them housing, some will abuse that housing. With empowerment those who wish to succeed will succeed and become self-sufficient.

Ok then let's hear it (3, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38694064)

Let's hear your great idea on how to fix homelessness. The GP made a very valid point: It is everywhere, including countries that are far more socialist than the US. It seems that humans haven't figured out a way to fix it. So maybe we shouldn't whine so much about needing to fix it because maybe we can't. That doesn't mean we should ignore it, that doesn't mean we shouldn't have safety nets (like, say, shelters) but this crap of "Oh how come America hasn't fixed homelessness?" is stupid.

If you've got some magic fix for it, then let's hear it. If not then quit with the "America should be able to fix it!"

It is one of those things that you can work on, we should work on, and we do work on. It isn't something you can solve. So bitching that it hasn't been is stupid.

Re:How is this even... (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693532)

Most western nations will provide at least a flat to their poor. The only homeless they have are people whose psychiatric problems cause them to refuse the help. The U.S. really is dead last amongst the 1st world.

Re:How is this even... (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693758)

But that still makes up top of the third world!

Re:How is this even... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693974)

America (I'm addressing you as a whole).

How is it that you allow young people, let alone whole families, to be homeless, to live in "shelters".

Name the country that does not have homeless people. Not saying the US does not have problems (oh hells yes we do!), but there are homeless everywhere.

The parent was specifically asking about "young people", not homelessness in general.

Re:How is this even... (4, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693298)

America (I'm addressing you as a whole).

How is it that you allow young people, let alone whole families, to be homeless, to live in "shelters".

WTF is wrong with you people?!

You are supposedly the most powerful nation on earth, the wealthiest, the nation that is spoken to exude opportunity and success from every pore.

And you have whole families, school children, living in homeless shelters.

I don't care how they came to be in the situation, it doesn't matter how that happened, what matters is resolving it, providing the social, housing, and financial support to ensure that every body can call somewhere home.

For every one remarkable individual like this who manages to overcome the adversity, I hate to think how many are dragged down by the circumstance.

There are those who are homeless in America by choice (live in one of the larger cities in California and you'll know what I mean), many of them prefer the freedom to ru(i)n their own lives for substances or alcohol. I'll give them food, but no money.

There are those who are homeless due to misfortune - lost of job, breadwinner in family, foreclosure of house loan, etc. These people are not at the bottom of the barrel, but without some form of assistance they could be there. There are shelters and federal and state programs to help them - often those still living in their cars are due to some failure to abide rules or restrictions of shelters. Where I work we track about 1,000 of these families. It's not a small issue, but those people, like this student have a good chance of getting back into a place they can call their own when the economy bounces back.

Re:How is this even... (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693464)

I had a coworker briefly that was doing that. On what we were making I couldn't blame him for that, I'm sure he was a lot more comfortable that way than worrying about having money for rent, and with a job he had the option of staying in a motel during cold snaps.

The bigger question though is why in a country that's so wealthy we tolerate people living on the streets out of necessity. We have the money to ensure that those folks have at least rudimentary shelter and yet we choose to provide very little.

Re:How is this even... (3, Insightful)

mutube (981006) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693848)

There are those who are homeless in America by choice.

You mean, psychiatric patients for which there is inadequate support? Yes. I've seen a lot of those on the streets in America.

Or individuals who have suffered abuse in the poorly regulated and underfunded state welfare system? Yes, lots of those too.

But you're right... they prefer it like that. I assume you've spoken to them too?

Re:How is this even... (2, Insightful)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693306)

Oh, puh-f'in-leeze. As if there aren't homeless on the streets, probably more, in every other OECD country.

Re:How is this even... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693442)

I've encountered 1 beggar in 20 years of living in several different places in Denmark. I lost count after the first day I arrived in the US. There are poorer countries than the US who have less of a homeless problem.

Re:How is this even... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693536)

There are poorer countries than the US who have less of a homeless problem.

I daresay they have less strict definitions of "home".

Not according to the OECD (4, Informative)

deanklear (2529024) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693972)

http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=poverty [oecd.org]

40% of Median Income:
=======================
14.9% Mexico
13.2% Israel
11.3% United States
11.2% Chile
10.1% Japan
10.0% Turkey
=======================
7.0% Canada
5.9% UK
4.9% Switzerland
4.2% Germany
3.4% France

Thanks for reinforcing the stereotype that Americans don't think about facts before they start screaming "We're #1!"

In this case, we are 33rd out of 36.

Re:How is this even... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693308)

My mother works at one. These families do get everything they need to get back on their feet, they really do. No one wants to see women and children on the street and there really isn't any excuse for it. Unfortunately, not every mother is worth anything. I wish we could take more children away from some of these women sometimes. Some of them are great mothers and manage to make it into government subsidized homes, but some are on the run from CPS and run from shelter to shelter to shelter. The shelter gives every child a free breakfast before class and the mothers are required to take them to it, but some just don't seem to give a damn about their own kids and send them to class late and hungry. It's a tough situation indeed. Very depressing.

It's good to see a homeless kid trying her best. So many of them just give up on school completely and barely learn to read with no support from any parent. Hopefully her parents are pushing her.

Re:How is this even... (2)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693352)

>> You are supposedly the most powerful nation on earth, the wealthiest, the nation that is spoken to exude opportunity and success from every pore.

1995 called. Supper is on an you have to go home now.

Re:How is this even... (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693382)

Uh, you realize that even in communist Russia, where it was a crime to be homeless, and housing was provided for free, there were still homeless people? Ending homelessness is not as easy as you think at first.

Re:How is this even... (1)

mutube (981006) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693836)

Uh, you realize that even in communist Russia, where it was a crime to be homeless, and housing was provided for free, there were still homeless people?

Good point! If a systemically poor and inefficient country can't solve a problem like homelessness what hope does the United States of America have?

[ That reads like sarcasm, but I assure you it's not ]

Re:How is this even... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693444)

You are supposedly the most powerful nation on earth, the wealthiest, the nation that is spoken to exude opportunity and success from every pore.

That's odd... Because my understanding is that we are 15 TRILLION dollars in debt and can't afford all the stupid bullshit we're doing now, let alone provide housing for every man, woman, and child in this country...

WTF is wrong with you people?!

...Indeed.

Re:How is this even... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693586)

Yeah, but maybe if we stopped the "stupid bullshit" like having military bases in a ridiculous fucking number of countries, making war all the time, putting up monuments and public buildings that look like Roman Imperial architecture, blowing public funds on stadia and "art", running huge government agencies that really do very little except retard progress... maybe we could do better on the social safety net front.

Nah, fuck it, let's just elect the same old people and get the same old results.

Re:How is this even... (4, Insightful)

SammyIAm (1348279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693490)

what matters is resolving it, providing the social, housing, and financial support to ensure that every body can call somewhere home.

What do you think homeless shelters are for?

Re:How is this even... (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693682)

"Are there no workhouses?" and all that, right?

Re:How is this even... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693504)

Simple: Americans believe in the just-world hypothesis [wikipedia.org] . They believe that "God helps those who help themselves."

Americans believe that anyone who is homeless is homeless because they deserve to be homeless. The proof is simple: they're homeless. If they didn't deserve to be homeless, they wouldn't be.

Likewise, the rich are rich because they deserve to be rich. Taking away their riches in the form of taxes would be unjust, because they clearly earned their riches and didn't simply inherit them or steal them. We know that because they're rich. If they didn't deserve to be rich, they wouldn't be.

Once you understand that this is how Americans almost universally think, the objection to universal health care and the refusal to fund programs to help the homeless should become clear. Americans don't believe in bad luck, they believe in a vengeful God.

Re:How is this even... (-1, Flamebait)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693524)

America (I'm addressing you as a whole).

How is it that you allow young people, let alone whole families, to be homeless, to live in "shelters".

In a world of limited resources, the resources we have are given to those who are most likely to do something helpful to society with them. "Money" is a way to reward contributions to society. Statistically, a child born to a family that earned money is more likely to also be successful -- it's in their genes. The family puts their child into a great (expensive) school to make sure she can reach her potential.

Capitalism is an economic equivalent to Darwin's survival of the fittest. There are merits to this, despite the corruption.

At the same time, you have to make sure that the occasional "mutant" who has abilities beyond her parents has the opportunity to make money herself. That's what socialized education is for. There is also something called "Child Services", which makes sure that children are receiving an acceptable upbringing. I'm not sure what kind of shelter this family is in, but it was unsafe, then the daughter would have been removed from the family and placed in foster care.

In America, we give you a free chance, but not a free ride. There's your answer.

Re:How is this even... (1)

mutube (981006) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693944)

Statistically, a child born to a family that earned money is more likely to also be successful -- it's in their genes.

That is the biggest I have ever seen. You say 'statistically' so I assume you have some numbers? 'In their genes?' 'Mutants?!' ...you're really not a biologist are you.

So if we've decided to instead build rambling arguments on vague assumptions here are a couple of my own...
1) people born from rich families have less incentive to work harder
2) people from poor families have less opportunities to access well paid jobs or education

So 'Statistically' it would make sense to provide considerably more money to individuals from poor backgrounds - since the combination of greater incentive and better (provided) funding would result in better results.

I mean 'Statistically' as in 'talking out my ass'.

Re:How is this even... (5, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693564)

Long and the short of it is that we've allowed a new, hereditary aristocracy to persuade us that our best interests are aligned with theirs.

Oh, they're smarter in many ways than the nobility of the past. They know how to blend in just a bit better, while still flaunting their wealth. They've bent the principles of equality and the perception thereof, and corrupted the American Dream, locking everyone else out, but allowing them to still dream the dream.

This new aristocracy has their fiefdoms in the corporations; they own our government lock, stock and barrel; they keep us at war.

They own the majority of the media and the mediums, and what they don't have yet, they're working diligently to take. And what information and knowledge there is, they ensure not only control of, but fight to make you pay for.

And they've persuaded too many people of this nation that caring for the sick and the elderly is somehow evil; that educating the next generation is a waste of money; that governments are not, in fact, created by men to secure the fundamental rights as described by Jefferson. In fact, they've gone so far as to persuade many of the citizenry that any sort of organization that builds out the infrastructure, education and welfare of the people simply for the sake of doing so is fundamentally evil. They've even gone so far as to pervert Christianity to be a worship of wealth [wikipedia.org] .

And at the same time, we're provided with an ample supply of soma [wikipedia.org] in the form of so-called reality television, video games, professional sports circuses and other thought destroying noise.

That's what's happened to us, and that is why we allow this.

And those who have made issue of it are called dirty, unwashed lazy hippies, or seekers of entitlement - an incredibly ironic term, given that it comes from the rights of the nobility - those with title. They've lumped the terms "fascism", "communism", and "socialism" all into one inclusive bucket, not realizing the extremely significant differences between them, nor that our nation has become ruled by the corporations, nor that a certain amount of socialism is required for a society of the size and with the population density that ours has.

That's what's wrong with my people.

Re:How is this even... (1, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693572)

Her father was renting a place that was too expensive, he couldn't afford the rent so they were evicted. Stayed for free in a shelter for a few days until he found something else. What do you find "wrong" about that? Society helped them out with a safety net until they were able to help themselves.

Re:How is this even... (5, Informative)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693714)

Wrong.


Garvey and her family have lived in shelters and hotels since she was a little girl. Seven years ago, they were able to move into a house, but in February 2010, her parents were involved in a car accident. They were forced to leave.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/01/homeless-teen-could-win-100000-science-prize-and-new-future-for-family/ [go.com]

Re:How is this even... (4, Insightful)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693968)

In other words, yet another medical bankruptcy & destitution, which is almost uniquely American in developed nations.

Re:How is this even... (2)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38694008)

Garvey and her family have lived in shelters and hotels since she was a little girl

Don't believe everything you see on TV. The family hasn't had it easy, but to say she's "lived in shelters and hotel since she was a little girl" is false.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jyIz1qpm12mq4KEy3-CS4Z0HVcgg?docId=13c4979840884373a3c0e477d2aea9aa [google.com]

Re:How is this even... (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38694060)

From your own citation:


Before the eviction, the Garveys had rented a home for six or seven years, Leo Garvey said. Before that, the family had also lived in homeless shelters from time to time; Leo Garvey described himself as a recovering alcoholic.

So - like most homeless, in and out of rental properties. And most of her life, sound like.

Ya this would seem to be a story of things working (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38694002)

Remember that providing a safety net for people doesn't mean that they get to have everything they did prior to needing it, or anything like that. Shelters -are- a safety net. They are a place you can go when you have no place else. That doesn't mean they are wonderful, but they are a place to stay for no charge.

Re:Ya this would seem to be a story of things work (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38694072)

Of course, one also has to deal with the violence, theft, abuse, disease, and filth that often goes along with them.

When there's space available.

Re:How is this even... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38694056)

What is your excuse for every other case that falls through the cracks?

Precisely.

capcha: screwing. how appropriate

We're hypocrites (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693574)

You are supposedly the most powerful nation on earth, the wealthiest, the nation that is spoken to exude opportunity and success from every pore.

And many of my fellow Americans also insist that we're a Christian Nation too.

We're are a people of denial and hypocrisy. There are going to be many many people who point to this girl and use it as justification for their opinion that the homeless are there because they just don't work hard enough and aren't worthy.

This girl pulled herself by her bootstraps, after all; therefore all the poor just need to do with this little girl did.

One word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693660)

One word: leverage.

Because we use debt financing for home ownership, the whole economy depends on rising home prices.

The country was quite prosperous when newly stolen lands were given to settlers, and when anybody could use their own wits to build houses on cheap land without permit or inspection. Many of those "sloppy, unprofessional" homes still stand today. I doubt we will be able to say the same of our debt financed, permitted, inspected crackerboxes.

But, I digress. Until we make the housing business more like the PC business (cheaper and better every year and yet the companies still prosper) we will continue to have this problem.

I'm no Ron Paul fan, and those who call for monetary revolution frankly make me sick (ammor hoarders, blah, blah) but at the same time we really may need a hard reset to pull this off.

Unfortunately, the idea that you have to buy the house all at once and go into debt for it is so deeply entrenched in people's minds that they can't grasp the obvious solution. I'm talking about non-leveraged REITs. It really is that simple. Banking as we know it would be radicly diffferent. REIT shares could float freely as a complementary currency. You'd simply save in shares and earn rent instead of interest. A drop in housing prices against some other complementary currency would be welcomed since it would allow you to accumulate shares more quickly and/or compound your rents more quickly. In fact, if most contracts and prices were in REIT shares it would be like regular inflation or deflation; constrained by the fact that you can't print houses or easily render land valueless.

. Unlike contemporary REITs, leverage would be barred so bankruptcy of the REIT could only come through absolute disaster such as the burning of an entire city. Diversifying to a nationwide system solves that problem.

Re:One word (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693980)

"But, I digress. Until we make the housing business more like the PC business (cheaper and better every year and yet the companies still prosper) we will continue to have this problem."

When you put it that way, the problem's simple. We need only shrink people in half every 18 months. Obviously it's only government intervention, like Fannie & Freddie, which is stopping our housing productivity from being as high as the deregulated semiconductor industry.

Re:How is this even... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693664)

How is it that you allow young people, let alone whole families, to be homeless, to live in "shelters".

Wait, you're complaining because we gave homeless people a place to live? What do you want, for them to live in Trump Tower and be fed caviar? Come on, what people need is enough to get back on their own two feet when life knocks them down. They don't need to have the world given to them.

Re:How is this even... (1)

mrcoolbp (928930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693706)

America (I'm addressing you as a whole).

How is it that you allow young people, let alone whole families, to be homeless, to live in "shelters".

WTF is wrong with you people?!

You are supposedly the most powerful nation on earth, the wealthiest, the nation that is spoken to exude opportunity and success from every pore.

And you have whole families, school children, living in homeless shelters.

I don't care how they came to be in the situation, it doesn't matter how that happened, what matters is resolving it, providing the social, housing, and financial support to ensure that every body can call somewhere home.

For every one remarkable individual like this who manages to overcome the adversity, I hate to think how many are dragged down by the circumstance.

I'm confused by your comment sir; that is why we have homeless shelters (housing for people without houses, which the above family seem to be utilising) soup kitchens, food pantries, subsidized housing, halfway houses, and countless other social programs. Not saying "America, F YAH!" or anything but your (seemingly rhetorical) questions appear to have no merit.

Re:How is this even... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693752)

And you have whole families, school children, living in homeless shelters.

Because everyone who is homeless deserves it. They obviously aren't working hard enough.

Except this one.

But everyone else. Right?

Re:How is this even... (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38694044)

Well said. It doesn't make a damn bit of sense what goes on here.

Re:How is this even... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38694068)

Because people like like you assuage their conscience for what they are personally not doing but putting it off on some other?

Is there a scholarship fund for her? At this point it feels less like charity and more like a solid investment.

Cutest smile ever. (2)

Pezbian (1641885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693202)

She seriously does have the cutest smile. The grin she was wearing in the photo with the article about this at KSL was the highlight of my day. Smart and photogenic is a good combo. She will go far.

Cue the Bullshit.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693218)

Great, another excuse for slashdot libertarians to tell us the only problems we have are big government and our own laziness.

Of course, a man with a solid shot at becoming our next president is now on record saying the primary motivations for class conflict in America are "greed" and "envy" of those who've done well. Not like we're sick of going without healthcare or tired of applying for and not getting fucking part-time retail work or sick of needing an engineering and/or Ivy League degree just to get a real job out of college; no, we're just envious little pricks.
 

Re:Cue the Bullshit.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693596)

You sir are an idiot. Romney is a RINO candidate running on the republican platform. Not a libertarian. Also, most libertarians will tell you that big government and laziness are two of our big problems, but not our only problems.

And to make sure this post actually has something to do with the topic at hand, and isn't just two anonymous assclowns talking politics; I like to believe that regardless of party no one likes the idea of families, or children having to live on the street. Any good person wants to find a solution to homelessness, we just disagree on route to take.

I hope Intel avoids the obvious feel-good choice (2)

starmonkey (2486412) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693224)

She's a semifinalist. I hope Intel's judgement of her research isn't affect by the press coverage. It would suck for someone else's superior research to get shafted because he wasn't lucky enough to be appealing as a human-interest story.

Re:I hope Intel avoids the obvious feel-good choic (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693326)

She's a semifinalist. I hope Intel's judgement of her research isn't affect by the press coverage. It would suck for someone else's superior research to get shafted because he wasn't lucky enough to be appealing as a human-interest story.

Check out her pictures. I know when I was in a high school science fair, being attractive won out over superior research. I'm guessing it's still the same. Oh and my research project sucked. It was seeing other classmates with better projects lose to her smile that taught me a valuable lesson. Good PR is usually trumps good science.

Re:I hope Intel avoids the obvious feel-good choic (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693476)

I think the obvious choice would be for Intel to toss her an education, no matter how things play out. They almost certainly have a philanthropic element to their accounting, so funding a beautiful homeless poster child's education can only yield positive PR. I mean, it's gotta be better than turning her away, only to have the press find her as a smack-whore doing some Intel exec, two years from now. Homeless women have very few options.

Expected.. (2)

Codeyman (1098807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693244)

On a similar vien, this is why you see more hardworking asian students (or first generation students who are forced to work hard by their parents)!? Once you are privy to poverty (even if you are not poor yourself) and have seen a better life out there.. you'll give your life to hang on to it.

Rely on a homeless shelter? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693256)

The linked article kind of doesn't mention that her family was in the shelter for all of a week earlier this month. Still a nice accomplishment, but none of the work she did was done while she was in the shelter.

A triumph for her... (1, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693386)

... and an abysmal failure by our society.

Re:A triumph for her... (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693840)

...How? Her family lost their home. They were supported (by that abysmally failing society...) for a short time until they found another.

Pretty much working exactly as it should.

What's her racial group? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693466)

Is she a Negro or is she White? Her name doesn't like an Oriental name.

Pictures?

Homelessness Doesn't Break the American Dream. (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693526)

Samantha deserves to get the credit for not letting distractions others have created around her from stopping her desire to forge ahead.

That is the American spirit alive and well in the U.S. It is the spirit that entrepreneurs must have to try and try again, as not all efforts succeed.

Being homeless is so easy to have happen if one or two key earning parents get laid off and can't downsize quickly enough in a major downturn. It is not possible for everyone to come out whole. It is just the enforced position you sometimes get thrown into when economic events flip you upside down.

Re:Homelessness Doesn't Break the human Dream. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693646)

"American spirit?" It's every person's desire to change their station in life regardless of nationality. You're branding it with a blindly patriotic mindset.

Re:Homelessness Doesn't Break the American Dream. (5, Interesting)

ghn (2469034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693676)

Canadian speaking here.. An entire homeless family is not something that should be considered "normal" or a consequence of some unfortunate chain of event that we just have to accept. Our society and economy, laws and culture are not that different from the US on most issues, but when I hear about homeless children and families in USA, that's where I truly grasp how vastly different our countries are.

"Anyone can do it if they try, so why aren't you?" (0)

identity0 (77976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693542)

>Such a situation would stop many students from being able to focus on studying, let alone a research project, but Garvey has instead used her situation as motivation.

Ah, I see we're going with the "X was successful despite his/her obstacles, so those with the same obstacle have no one but themselves to blame" angle.

Welcome to America, where they celebrate people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps but never question why that was necessary in the first place.

I doubt it (3, Insightful)

mfwitten (1906728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693618)

I seriously doubt that crabs change the thickness of their shells in the presence of predators. Rather, I bet the predators change the kind of shell that is dominant in the population of crabs.

It is likely the case that the predators are more easily able to eat the crabs with thinner shells, thereby increasing the percentage of crabs with thicker shells in the remaining population, and those remaining crabs with thicker shells produce offspring that also have the same kind of shells (or perhaps even thicker shells in a few cases).

Evolution, folks. Variation. Selection.

Re:I doubt it (1)

mfwitten (1906728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693692)

Woops! s/crab/mussel/g

Re:I doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38693870)

Yea... I also believe that predators test the thickness of the mussels shell before eating it... or not..

Predators wouldn't have such pretty teeth if they wouldn't do that all the time...

Not anymore (2)

IdolizingStewie (878683) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693756)

As several others have pointed out, the family is back in a home today. Hopefully they can stay in this one. In and out of shelters seems to be a trend for the family. http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/intel-semifinalist-samantha-garvey-gets-bay-shore-home-1.3449717?obref=obinsite [newsday.com]

Homeless? (0)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693780)

WHY is her family homeless? You're telling me that New York State... one of the bluest in the country, with high taxes and lots of money going to social services... doesn't have public housing and rent assistance? This seems to be an ongoing situation with her family, not something just happened suddenly. We're not getting the whole story here.

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