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Our future prosperity depends on all of our children having a fair chance to thrive and succeed. Yet each year we lose gifted young people who are born trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty, violence, under-funded schools, and inadequate or non-existant health care options that too often forces them off the ladder of success and into custody of the juvenile justice system - or worse.
Leveling the Playing Field for Children identifies the steps that California lawmakers can take today to ensure that all our children have what they need to realize their potential tomorrow. Recognizing that children don’t come in pieces, the policy agenda focuses and lifts up those policies that lift children out of poverty, expand access to health coverage and a high-quality education, and transform the juvenile justice system to focus on prevention and rehabilitation.
"My goal in life has been to prove to everyone that you can beat the odds regardless of what has happened in your past. I may be half blind, but I see the world more fully than I ever have." - Ni'Tasha Denson, 2015 Beat the Odds Honoree.
"While I continue to face challenges at home head on, at school I remain focused and committed to achieving success. The CDF Beat the Odds scholarship represents this success." - Vincent Zamarripa, 2015 Beat the Odds Honoree.
Paying it Forward
April 22, 2016, Blog Update
Fixing a Broken System of Funding Youth Prevention, Intervention Programs
April 19, 2016, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
Leveling the Playing Field with Children's Defense Fund
April 14, 2016, Los Angeles Sentinel