How to Apply

Apply now or nominate an outstanding high school student for the 2018 Beat the Odds scholarship program!

The Beat the Odds scholarship program honors outstanding high school students who have overcome tremendous adversity in life to achieve academic excellence, demonstrate leadership in their communities and aspire to attend college. Students must be nominated or seek nomination for the Beat the Odds scholarship program by/from a teacher, counselor, caseworker, or other adult who can speak to the following: his/her character, academic achievement, commitment to social justice issues/community, and the tremendous odds he/she beats every day.

Students must be enrolled in a broader Twin Cities Metro area high school and must be on track to graduate by June 2018.

Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota will select 10 finalists in the fall of 2017 and from that group will choose five honorees. Honorees will be notified in November and will each receive:

  • A $5,000 Beat the Odds scholarship, allocated during college matriculation, and a laptop computer;
  • Induction into the CDF family and invitation to join CDF’s leadership development ladder; and
  • Honors at the annual Beat the Odds Awards on March 8, 2018. Professional, autobiographical videos of each honoree’s story will be produced in winter 2017/2018 and shown at the ceremony. These films may also be shared with the media, sponsors, supporters and the broader public, as well as posted on our website.

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m., Friday, October 13, 2017.

Download the application packet for students and nominators and submit via:



Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota, Attn: Firi Dawid, 555 Park St. Suite 410 St. Paul, MN 55103

Fax (651) 227-2553

If mailed or faxed, immediately follow up by email to confirm receipt.


If you have questions about your application, please email Firi Dawid at