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Meet our 2014 Beat the Odds Scholars

Every year, Stand for Children Oregon awards several $10,000 college scholarships at our annual Beat the Odds Scholarship Awards & Fundraising Luncheon in Portland, and at a reception in Eugene. The 2014 Portland event was a smashing success thanks to a great line-up of speakers, a room full of supportive advocates and three fantastic scholarship winners.

Excellent teachers and an unshakable inner drive help these students defy the odds and land on the path to success. But Stand’s end goal is to even the odds so that all children, regardless of their personal struggles, can graduate from high school prepared for, and with access to, college. We thank the donors who support our work to boldly advocate for solutions.

At this year's luncheon, the keynote speaker, State Treasurer Ted Wheeler said:

“We need to work together, and we need to raise our voices together, because change requires momentum.”

Your support helps create this momentum and makes this important work possible. Thank you!

Meet our 2014 Scholarship winners!

Mustaf Mohamed - Madison High School

Mustaf spent most of his childhood in a refugee camp in Kenya. His family lived without electricity in very close quarters. They received one bag of corn and one bottle of oil per month. His mom tried her best to harvest food from her small garden, but Mustaf often went hungry. His teachers in Africa did not speak his language and he struggled to get the most from his education.

When he was 11, Mustaf immigrated to the U.S. He quickly worked his way through his middle school’s program for English learners, and today he’s enrolled in AP courses. Mustaf is passionate about the natural world and plans to study environmental engineering.

Watch Mustaf's Video

Stephanie Stuck - Wilsonville High School

Stephanie’s first memory is of police lights. When she was four, both her parents were charged with drug possession. Stephanie and her brother bounced between foster homes -- often neglected and abused. Eventually she was adopted by her aunt and uncle, and found shelter and love in her new family.

Unfortunately, Stephanie faced abuse again in high school. The trial that followed put tremendous strain on Stephanie and her family, but caring teachers and counselors helped her rebuild her self-esteem and focus on academics. Stephanie wants to be a social worker so she can advocate for foster children.

Watch Stephanie's Video

Charis Roberts - Ashland High School

Charis became homeless and independent at the age of 15. He found himself balancing two jobs, navigating a series of temporary living situations, and trying to keep up in school. His independence made him realize the value of a great education. He transitioned from alternative education into a college prep track. In order to test into Alegbra 2 Honors, Charis spent his summer taking an online course. He lived in a tent and saved money to cover housing for the school year.

He is passionate about biochemistry and plans to pursue a career in renewable energy or pharmaceutical alternatives. His dream school is Reed College.

Watch Charis's Video

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