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Beat the Odds

By: Emma Chambard, Alliance AmeriCorps VISTA serving at Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota

Honorees standing together for a photo

I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of Children Defense Fund’s Beat the Odds scholarship program this year. Over 197 young people submitted applications this year from all over the Twin Cities. All 197 applicants had such unique stories it was hard to narrow it down to just five recipients! They all were so positive even though life had dealt them a bad hand. After meeting the five honorees I knew I wanted to do more. I talked to my region manager at TCF Bank (where I work part time outside of service) about CDF-MN, my VISTA service, and what Beat the Odds is. My region manager and my branch manager helped me complete the paperwork to request a sponsorship from TCF to go to CDF to help pay for at least one of these students to go to college. I spent a lot of time going back and forth between CDF and TCF to make this happen and was able to secure a $5,000 Beat the Odds sponsorship! There is no doubt in my mind that the honorees will do something great with their lives and make a difference in the world.

[From “Voices From the Field: Reflections from Minnesota Alliance With Youth’s AmeriCorps Members.” Spring 2017.]


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