The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) held its 13th annual Beat the Odds awards luncheon on Thursday, May 3, 2012, at the Hilton Post Oak Hotel.  The CDF Beat the Odds program raises awareness of the pitfalls and challenges children face on a daily basis.

KTRK-ABC13’s Melanie Lawson served as emcee and the invocation was given by Rev. William A. Lawson.  The 2012 co-chairs were Jason and Arvia Few and J. Michael and Ileana Trevino. This year’s keynote speaker was the esteemed Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund and a staunch advocate for the disadvantaged. Proceeds from the awards luncheon fund scholarships for deserving youth who overcome extreme adversity to demonstrate success in leadership and academics. This year’s youth honorees were: Samantha Beasley, Keyaira Block, Kasey Lewis, Marcus Livingston, Jr. and Brittany Metzler.  Each honoree gave moving speeches about what the CDF Beat the Odds scholarship means to them and shared their upcoming college plans. For more information on the CDF, visit www.cdftexas.org.