Past Winners: A Decade of Beat the Odds

More than a scholarship luncheon, Beat the Odds is a launching pad for the critical work Stand does to improve opportunities for Oregon students. Ten years ago, we welcomed inaugural keynote speaker then Gov. Ted Kulongoski to the stage to help award the first three scholarships.

Since the first event, Stand has awarded well over 100 scholarships. Our scholarship winners report an astounding 88 percent success rate, meaning they are either pursuing or have successfully completed their college degree.

Watch 10 Years of Scholarship Winners

Read a 2015 letter from Janene Kajitani, our development manager, to learn more about why our scholarship winners' stories are so influential to our core work. 

It’s hard to draft this email through all these tears, but I’ll wipe my eyes and give it a shot.

Moments ago, I watched this year’s Beat the Odds winners take the stage at our annual scholarship awards and fundraising luncheon. These students are the inspiration for so much of Stand’s work. They demonstrate the unlimited potential of Oregon’s young people when we provide them with the tools and educators to support them in their academic journey.

Take Hernan, a valedictorian contender at Woodburn High School who fled to the United States when warring drug cartels penetrated his hometown in Mexico: Hernan is just one of over 500,000 students in Oregon who count on their public school system to open up doors of opportunity for them.

At this year's luncheon, we raised nearly $80,000 to build momentum for the work that aims to put every student in Oregon on a path to a successful, productive life. 

Hernan feels indebted to his public schools. He expressed this at the luncheon. He hopes to pay it forward by studying criminology and directing youth to reject violence and embrace academics. Let’s ensure more students find as deep a connection at their public schools!  

Standing with you proudly,

Janene Kajitani


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