Intel competition finalist from LI returns home in triumph

GREAT NECK - The Great Neck teenager who won second place in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Competition returned home from Washington, D.C. today to a hero's welcome.

Michelle Hackman, who is visually impaired, says she was convinced she wouldn't even make the Top 10 in the contest.

"When they called my name, I swear I nearly fainted," Hackman says.

Hackman's research project was based on cell phone addiction. Once she had the idea, the hard part was getting 150 of her classmates to give up their cell phones and stare at a wall for 45 minutes.

"Cell phones and other forms of technology are so stimulating, it's like a shot of drug," she says.

Hackman says she was raised to believe the sky is the limit. She lost her sight at the age of 8, but has never let her inability to see impair her vision of greatness.

The $75,000 scholarship Hackman won should come in handy this fall when she heads to Yale University.

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