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Beat the Odds
There wasn't a dry eye in the house at the Children's Defense Fund #beattheoddsmn awards / dinner / fundraiser in Minneapolis last night. Amazing stories of overcoming adversity and giving back. It was an honor to participate.

"The US is spending 3 times more per public prisoner than per child in public school. We don't have a money problem, we have a profound priorities problem." Children's Defense Fund MN founder Marian Wright Edelman

Other great quotes and moving stories from the scholarship recipients:

"He who has a why can endure any how". Friedrich Nietzsche, as quoted by honoree Annie Sinner, who came from great poverty & an abusive home "My education has set me free."

"Giving up has never been an option & it never will be". Honoree Eduardo Sanchez who came from extreme poverty, survived getting caught in the crossfire of a gang gun fight as a small child. He was later assaulted with a knife by a gang and suffered PSTD. He now has a 3.75 GPA and wants to be a journalist to help other people share their stories.

"Getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs they like the taste of air." honoree Lashay Thompson

Lashay's story: In her pre-teen years, a drug dealer would molest her and say it was payment for her mother's drugs. She went from living with a crack-using mom to a caring foster dad who unfortunatley died in a car crash. She moved back in with her clean mom, who then died of cancer. Now Lashay gets up at 4:00 am for her internship at Cargill, then goes to High School. She will soon be attending college. Despite the odds, Lashay is vibrant, highly motivated and optimistic about her future. She could do anything but is focused on giving back.

I gave money last night but will be looking for ways to invest some time in this program as well. You can read more about the important mission of CDF & #BeatTheOddsMN here: http://www.cdf-mn.org/programs-campaigns/beat-the-odds-awards-program/

Thanks to Jennifer Patterson @unplannedcookin for inviting me. It was truly a moving experience.

Tweets that provided some of the details above came from +Arik Hanson +Erica Mayer +Nicole Harrison +Jason DeRusha +Kate O'Reilly
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nice picture you got there ;-)