Aye Win and Isabella Brown from Como Park Senior High School in St. Paul, Israel Glenn and Kenija Wallace from North Community High School in Minneapolis and Jasmine Salter from Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis were recently announced as the 2019 Beat the Odds scholarship recipients.

Children’s Defense Fund- Minnesota (CDF-MN) sponsors the awards to recognize students who have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership in their communities and college aspirations in spite of facing often overwhelming obstacles such as poverty, abuse, health challenges, homelessness and family tragedy. The students were honored April 18 at the CDF-MN’s 27th annual Beat the Odds Awards Celebration held at St. Thomas University.

Since 1993 CDF-MN has honored nearly 300 Beat the Odds scholarship recipients and finalists. This year’s award winners were chosen out of 273 applicants. The five honorees will each receive a $5,000 scholarship, a computer and an array of college supplies to help them pursue their dreams of higher education.

The Beat the Odds awards celebration is an evening of fun, inspiration and celebration that highlights the difference that community support can make in the lives of young people. It also serves as a fundraiser for the work of CDF-MN, which is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the lives of Minnesota children and their families through advocacy, education, outreach and youth development.

The night’s keynote address was delivered by Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president emerita of the national Children’s Defense Fund. Under Edelman’s 45-year leadership, CDF has grown into one of the nation’s strongest voices for children and families.

In addition, advertising and marketing company, Fallon, received the Champion of Children Award for its support of Minnesota children through its nearly 30-year partnership with CDF-MN. Fallon has donated an estimated 2,000 hours annually in staff support, student video production, invitation and program design and other advertising and marketing materials for the Beat the Odds event since the program’s inception 27 years ago.

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