Children's Defense Fund - California Hosts 23rd Annual Beat the Odds® Awards

For Immediate Release
December 2, 2013
For More Information Contact:
Andy Gelb / Rachael Trager (310) 461-0111 /

WHO: Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman, along with Hollywood supporters and cochairs Katie McGrath, J.J. Abrams, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Josiah Bell, Carol, Frank Biondi, Ruth-Ann Huvane, Kevin Huvane, Liza; Conan O’Brien, Reese Witherspoon, Jim Toth, and Laura, Casey Wasserman, will honor five deserving high school students.

WHAT: The Children’s Defense Fund-California will host its 23rd Annual Beat the Odds Awards honoring Marilyn Bravo, Stephanie Fabian, Alezaihvia Melendez, Alexis Metcalfe, and Jerry Gonzalez – five incredible Los Angeles area high school students who “beat the odds.” Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman and Hollywood’s supporters will celebrate these high school “stars” for overcoming tremendous personal obstacles in order to achieacademic excellence.

Each student honoree will receive a $10,000 college scholarship and support services including: private tutoring, one-on-one college counseling, ongoing mentoring, internship placements, life skills development, SAT prep, and week-long college tours at no cost.

Since its inception in 1990, the Children’s Defense Fund Beat the Odds program has identified and rewarded remarkable high school students who have overcome tremendous obstacles, demonstrated surpassed their full potential in overall academic excellence, and given back to their community. These impressive scholars have clearly demonstrated the qualities necessary to become future leaders.

WHEN: Thursday, December 5, 2013; Media Check-In – 5:30 PM; Red Carpet/Cocktail Reception – 6:30 PM; Dinner – 7:15 PM

WHERE: Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210


The Children's Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA) is the California office of the children’s Defense Fund, a national, non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for 40 years to
ensure a level playing field for all children. CDF-CA champion policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care and quality education. For more information visit