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Beat the Odds Scholarship Nominations Due January 28, 2011

Dear Community Leader:

As someone with a strong network of advocates of young people experiencing overwhelming obstacles, the Children’s Defense Fund- California invites you to share the following opportunity with your network or participate in the Los Angeles Beat the Odds Scholarship Program by nominating a 2011 scholarship recipient. To download the application click here.

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for 37 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. We champion policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education, and a moral and spiritual foundation.

Since 1990, CDF has awarded Beat the Odds scholarships to high school students across the country that are working hard to overcome tremendous obstacles in their personal lives, demonstrate academic excellence, and give back to their communities.

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VIDEO: Marian Wright Edelman Keynote Speech at the Empowerment Congress

Approximately 1,500 people attended the 18th Annual Empowerment Congress Summit held at California State University Dominguez Hills on January 23, 2010. Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, gave the well received keynote address.

VIDEO: Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Visits A Children's Defense Fund Freedom School

Yesterday Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas participated in the Harambee — read aloud and responded to questions from the children attending Freedom School, one of three Freedom School programs currently operating in California. During the morning Harambee, a 30-minute activity to celebrate and affirm the value of each participant and prepare for the work and learning ahead, the Supervisor read about Ella Baker, an historic figure who was a freedom fighter and history-maker. He also responded to questions such as, “What does a Supervisor do?” A former teacher, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas engaged the students, mostly elementary and middle school-aged, in a lively and informative interaction.

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) operates Freedom Schools throughout the country. There are plans to establish several programs within the 2nd Supervisorial District next summer. The CDF Freedom Schools program provides summer and after-school enrichment through a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components:

1) High quality academic enrichment
2) Parent and family involvement
3) Social action and civic engagement
4) Intergenerational servant leadership development
5) Nutrition, health, and mental health