What Beat the Odds has Given Me

College & Career Readiness | 02/21/2019

Charis Roberts
Beat the Odds Scholar

When I was in high school, I had this hope that I would one day become a chemist – – that I would get to play in a lab and investigate problems with geometrically shaped glassware and bubbling reactions. While I had this hope, I didn’t pay it serious attention, or at least I didn’t think that it would ever come to fruition. In my mind, and in the mind of many others who knew me, I was a screw up. Now, looking at my position in life from the other side, I am awe inspired, and I feel that I owe a great deal of my success to Stand for Children and the Beat the Odds (BTO) scholarship.

I could never have fully known the avenues and opportunities that BTO would open for me. It feels like the payoff was exponentially greater than the work that I did to receive it. The support Stand offers students like me is so much greater than just a scholarship. Not only did they support me with funds for college, but they provided food and clothing for me in my senior year of high school and while in college so that I could spend my money on things like books and housing.

Most of all, Stand opened the door to a higher tier of second education that would not have been possible for a student like me. Through this scholarship, I have met circuit court judges, and senators, and cinematographers, people who care about my future, people who were willing to go to bat for me to ensure that I was successful. Stand made it possible for me to attend Reed College, my dream undergraduate institution, and the domino effect is greater still. I am scheduled to graduate in May of this year, and am awaiting application results from Ph.D. programs at graduate schools like UC Berkeley and Princeton.

I never could have guessed that my life would be on the trajectory that it is today. I feel indebted to Stand for Children, and I am extremely grateful for the Beat the Odds scholarship.

– Charis Roberts
Reed College Chemistry 2019

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