The CDF Beat the Odds® program honors outstanding high school 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 awe-inspiring. Their stories give hope and remind us that none of us have a right to give up on any child or youth.
The Washington, D.C. Beat the Odds® program operates out of our National Office and honors five high school students per year from the Greater Washington region. rogram participants are selected by our Beat the Odds Selection Committee each year through a competitive application process and are honored at the Beat the Odds event during their senior year. Each honoree receives:
- A $10,000 scholarship for higher education expenses
- A laptop computer, provided before beginning college
- Opportunities to engage with CDF’s work, including:
- Serving as a Servant Leader Intern at a local CDF Freedom Schools® site
- Supporting our advocacy work for children by attending hearings, testifying on the Hill, and lending their voice and story to support our policy work
- Admission into a mentorship program during their freshman year of college
- A guaranteed internship opportunity at CDF’s national office in Washington, DC after completing two years of college
- A scholarship to attend CDF’s Proctor Institute – CDF’s annual faith-based advocacy retreat in Clinton, TN.
- Monthly programming through their senior year in high school focused on building community and preparing for college
- Honors at the Beat the Odds event during their senior year of high school. Honorees’ stories will be shared at this event through speeches, printed materials, and video. These stories, including video content, may also be shared with the media, sponsors, supporters and the broader public, as well as posted on our website
“Having [the Beat the Odds Program] at CDF to support me has been like a breath of fresh air. I didn’t know what to do on my own, but now I have so many people in my corner.”
-Tallya Rhodes (2017 Beat the Odds Honoree)
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