Conan O’Brien Celebrates Children’s Defense Fund Honorees

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Conan O’Brien
Conan O’Brien

Photo Credit: Alex J. Berliner / ABImages

Conan O’Brien came out to support an organization that has long been near and dear to his heart. The late-night star emceed the 27th annual Children’s Defense Fund–California Beat the Odds Awards ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Thursday night. The event honored five Los Angeles high school superstars, Jackie, Ana, Jerry, Mey, and Ja’Nay, who have overcome major obstacles on their road to academic excellence.

Kate HudsonGabourey SidibeJussie Smollett, Chiké Okonkwo, and Alfre Woodard also served as awards presenters. And other guests for the evening included J.J. Abrams, Katie McGrath, Deborah Ayorinde, Kevin Nealon, Timothy Olyphant, Andy Richter and more. 

Each presenter spoke to the enormous challenges that each winner had overcome in order to get to where they are today. Guests in the audience, including  J.J. Abrams & Katie McGrath, Deborah Ayorinde, Kevin Nealon, Timothy Olyphant and Andy Richter were visibly moved throughout the evening.

Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson

Photo Credit: Alex J. Berliner / ABImages

The honorees were each given a $10,000 college scholarship and mentorship services which include private tutoring, college counseling, internship placements, SAT prep and college tours.

Marian Wright Edelmen, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, addressed the audience, saying that in the current political climate, it’s more important now than ever before to protect children’s programs.

The Children’s Defense Fund-California was established in 1998 to lift children out of poverty and work to provide all children with a quality education and access to health care.

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