About Us

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Beat the Odds® Awards Program



Register today!

To register
 by phone, call 651-855-1173

To volunteer at the Beat the Odds Awards Ceremony, please fill out this form and send to Alisha Porter at aporter@childrensdefense.org.

The CDF Beat the Odds awards program recognizes extraordinary young people who have overcome tremendous adversity in life to achieve academic excellence, demonstrate leadership in their communities, and aspire to attend college. 

Each year, through a competitive review process, four of the most deserving Twin Cities-area high school students are selected for a CDF Beat the Odds scholarship.  They are honored for their academic achievements and perseverance in the face of tremendous and often overwhelming obstacles.

Since 1993, CDF-Minnesota has awarded more than 300 scholarships to outstanding youths in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Many recipients have gone on to pursue advanced degrees and positions of leadership in their communities.

The application is open to graduating high school seniors in the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area.


Raising Awareness

The annual Beat the Odds celebration helps to raise awareness about the significant challenges facing Minnesota children and the need for continued investment and advocacy. The individual experiences and stories of the young people honored at the dinner inform CDF's ongoing efforts to shape policies and change the odds for all children.

As CDF's only annual fundraiser, the dinner also raises needed funding to sustain the organization's ongoing advocacy efforts on behalf of all the children of Minnesota who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves.

Developing Young Leaders

To help ensure their continued success, each student is also provided leadership development and advocacy training, internship and mentoring opportunities, and are connected to other individually relevant resources and supports from CDF as needed.

What are they doing now? Catch up with past honorees