The CDF Beat the Odds® program honors outstanding high schools students who have overcome tremendous adversity, demonstrated academic excellence and given back to their communities. Started in 1990, the program identifies and rewards young people who have experienced significant hardship in their lives and supports and trains them to become future leaders in adulthood. Their grit and resilience are overwhelming. Their stories give hope and remind us that none of us have a right to give up on any child or youth.
Each year the CDF Beat the Odds scholarship program selects five high school freshmen who are overcoming tremendous adversity, demonstrating academic commitment and giving back to their communities. Program participants receive the following support needed to matriculate and succeed in college and beyond:
- 10,000 scholarship
- College test preparation
- Access to workshops focused on financial aid, financial literacy and essay writing
- College counseling and mentoring
- Access to college fairs
- Internship referrals
- Career, and life skills development
- Assistance with the college or post-secondary education enrollment process
Additionally, each scholarship recipient will be recognized at the annual CDF Beat the Odds Awards gala in December 2019. Professional, autobiographical films will be produced and shown during the awards ceremony.
Please note all services are offered in the City of Los Angeles and are subject to change
For consideration in the CDF-California Beat the Odds Scholarship Program, an applicant must:
- Be a current high school freshman who lives or goes to school in the greater Los Angeles area;
- Be nominated by a teacher, counselor, caseworker or any other unrelated adult who can speak to applicant's character, commitment to their education, commitment to social justice/community, and the tremendous odds overcome;
- Demonstrate progress in overcoming tremendous adversity;
- Demonstrate participation in school activities, community organizations, employment, and/or service leadership;
- Graduate by July 2022; and
- Plan to attend a college, university or vocational school post-graduation.
Annual Awards Gala
Every winter, we host a special gala to honor the achievements of five of our most outstanding Beat the Odds honorees. The purpose of the event is to recognize and commemorate the strength, resilience, and determination that our honorees have demonstrated both inside and outside of the classroom. We also want to remind celebrities, public officials and change-makers in Los Angeles about the tremendous need in their communities and to inspire them to take action.
The application portal for the new cohort of California Beat the Odds honorees is now open.