The Children's Defense Fund–California will host its 25th Annual Beat the Odds Awards ceremony on December 3, 2015, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

The celebration will honor five Los Angeles high school “stars” in recognition of their excellence in academic achievement, despite the overwhelming obstacles that stand in their way.

The momentous occasion will be hosted by the Children’s Defense Fund President, Marian Wright Edelman, along with support from co-chairs, Katie McGrath & J.J. Abrams, Jurnee Smollett-Bell & Josiah Bell, Carol & Frank Biondi, Ruth-Ann Huvane, Kevin Huvane, Katie Sharer & Mark Mullen, Liza & Conan O'Brien, and Reese Witherspoon & Jim Toth.

O’Brien will serve as the night’s emcee, with co-chairs Witherspoon, Abrams, Kevin Huvane, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell pulling double duty as presenters to the night’s honorees. They will also be joined by longtime CDF supporter Jennifer Garner, and additional special guests to be announced at a later date.

Each honoree’s story will be told through a special video presentation, directed by a prominent member of the entertainment community. John Cho, best known for his role in the Star Trek films, is confirmed to direct one of the reels.

Thanks to generous support, each student honoree will receive a $10,000 college scholarship and support services including: private tutoring, one-on-one college counseling, ongoing mentoring, internship placements, life skills development, SAT prep, and week-long college tours at no cost.

Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Children’s Defense Fund Beat the Odds program serves to identify and reward remarkable high school students who have achieved excellence in their overall academic performance, community participation and personal goals. These impressive scholars have demonstrated the qualities necessary to become future leaders.

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