During awards season, actors, screenwriters, directors and others working in film are feted at near-constant festivals and awards shows. On Dec. 5, however, it was all about the kids.
The Children’s Defense Fund-California hosted their 23rd Beat the Odds Awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel, awarding $10,000 college scholarships to five high school students who have overcome adversity in their personal lives to become successful in school and extra-curriculars. Jennifer Garner, Conan O’Brien, Reese Witherspoon, J.J. Abrams and more joined in to honor the scholars.
Garner spoke about scholar Marilyn Bravo, whose alcoholic and drug-addicted father forced her family to move from place to place, with her mother, who spoke little English, barely being able to pay for food and rent.
“So many young people give up when they see that the deck of life is stacked against them,” said Garner. “But Marilyn Bravo is not one of them, for she is committed to living up to her incredible potential.”
It later revealed that Bravo holds a 4.11 GPA and hopes to earn a degree in bio-engineering.