Program provides scholarships and one-on-one college preparation to high school sophomores who have overcome adversity to excel in school and as leaders in their communitiesLos Angeles, CA – The Children's Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA) Beat the Odds Scholarship and Leadership Program recognizes outstanding Los Angeles-area high school sophomores who have overcome tremendous obstacles in their personal lives to do well in school and give back to their communities. CDF-CA is currently accepting nominations and applications for high school sophomores in the Los Angeles area – applications are due February 15.Ten finalists will be selected – five will receive a $10,000 scholarship and five semi-finalists will receive a $1,000 scholarship. All finalists and semi-finalists will receive ongoing support and college preparation services, including: internship placements, intensive SAT preparation, one-on-one college counseling, leadership development, college tours, and career guidance. “Being a Beat The Odds recipient means a lot to me because it’s nice to get recognized for all your hard work; it has truly been an awesome and unforgettable experience,” said Richard Kent, 2012 Beat the Odds honoree and senior at Belmont High School. “Academically, Beat The Odds has been of tremendous help because of all the college counseling and the constant monitoring of my work and grades.”The program currently provides intensive support to almost 60 current and former Beat the Odds scholars. “The Beat the Odds program has helped me in innumerable and immeasurable ways. I now have a thorough understanding of the value of education, the value of rising above circumstances, the value of children and the value of trust,” said Caylin Moore, 2011 Beat the Odds honoree and Freshman at Marist College. “It is powerful what the Children’s Defense Fund is doing for the community and children on a grand scale."The five finalists will be honored at the 24th Annual Beat the Odds Awards in the winter of 2014. Professional, autobiographical documentaries of each finalist's story will be produced and shown at the event (see documentaries from the 2012 Beat the Odds honorees).For more information about the Beat The Odds Program, please contact Joanna Flores at(213) 355-8788 or [email protected] or visit http://www.cdfca.org/programs-campaigns/beat-the-odds/apply/.###Children's Defense Fund-California is the California office of the Children's Defense Fund, a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. The Children’s Defense Fund champions policies and programs that lift children out of poverty, protect them from abuse and neglect, and ensure their access to health care, a quality education, and a moral and spiritual foundation.