February 12, 2017
Conan O'Brien and Liza Powel
Holly and Rodney Robinson Peete
Katie McGrath and JJ Abrams
On December 6, a multitude of celebrities were tapped to honor five local high school students for outstanding academic achievements despite difficult circumstances at the 22nd Annual Beat the Odds awards ceremony, hosted by The Children’s Defense Fund. Philanthropic guests gathered at the Beverly Hills Hotel for a cocktail reception followed by dinner and the awards ceremony.
Michelle Monaghan opened the awards before passing the microphone to Conan O’Brien, who was asked to present Belmont High School student Richard Kent with his award. The other four recipients received their awards from the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Elisabeth Shue, Zoe Saldana, and Trey Thompkins. Each honoree received a $10,000 college scholarship paired with mentoring services, job training, SAT prep, and more to ensure a bright future.
Other celebrity supporters of the event included Alexis Bledel, Miranda Cosgrove, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Greg Grunberg, and Mary McCormack. The Children’s Defense Fund is a non-profit that creates programs to help impoverished or neglected children overcome their circumstances through medical care, education, and guidance.