LatinaLista — High school is tough enough but when a child has to deal with hunger, homelessness, parents who are either not around or too caught up in their own addictions to be there for their children then it's not surprising that any child would be tempted to give up.
Yet, there are some kids who find school to be the safe refuge they can't have at home and in the process, learn to understand just how an education is their ticket to a better future. The Children's Defense Fund annually recognizes students like these with their Beat the Odds scholarship.
Started in 1990, the program identifies and rewards young people who have experienced significant hardship in their lives and supports and trains them to become future leaders in adulthood.
One student who fit the criteria and was honored this past spring was Raymond Perez. Raymond lives in Minnesota and already in his young life he has experienced things most adults have not. It's because he found a way to get through all his personal tragedy with an "infectious positive energy for school work and activities" that Raymond was chosen as one of the recipients for this year's Beat the Odds scholarship.