On Monday, February 25, 2019, the Children's Defense Fund – New York (CDF-NY) hosted its annual Beat the Odds (BTO) Gala at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.

Malaak Compton Rock, Chelsea Clinton, LaTanya Richardson Jackson

Honorary Co-Chair, Tony West, was joined by Co-Chairs Deborah Cogut, Robyn Coles and LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and Gala Host, Malaak Compton-Rock.

The annual, star-studded event honored movers and shakers in the children’s advocacy and justice space. Chelsea Clinton, Vice President of the Clinton Foundation, and the Honorable Eric Holder, former U.S. Attorney General, were honored with CDF-NY’s Children’s Champion Award for their lifetimes in service of children and their families.

Other recipients of awards were the Waffle House hero, James Shaw, Jr., and Julia Cordover, Parkland High School Mass Shooting survivor, for their work to fight gun violence and support victims.

The true stars of the night were the five extraordinary high school ambassadors of the Beat the Odds scholarship program. These high school seniors have overcome tremendous adversity including poverty to excel academically and give back to their communities. BTO provides social and academic college readiness to these high school students and offers scholarship opportunities and support services to aid scholars throughout their college career — including ongoing mentoring, internship placements and career guidance. At the gala, these students were awarded $10,000 scholarships.

This year’s gala put a special emphasis on the incredible impact of CDF’s advocacy in the New York Office, led by Naomi Post, Executive Director, the CDF-NY BTO program, the importance of youth activism and the legacy of its founder, Marian Wright Edelman.

For more information about CDF-NY visit www.cdfny.org.

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