2017 CDF-NY Beat the Odds® Winners

Congratulations to the 2017 CDF-NY Beat the Odds® Winners!

Their stories will remind you how one caring adult can help change the outcome for a child in need. Please read and watch the stories of these five extraordinary youths who beat the odds stacked against them and learn how you can help make their dreams come true.


DJINO TIMOTIS

Djino grew up in Haiti, witnessing the horrors of the 2010 earthquake including destroyed homes, separated families, and death. His family was harassed and threatened by unscrupulous debt collectors, and eventually they fled Haiti to the safety of the US. In a few short years, Djino has excelled academically as is evident when he conducts tours at the museum where he interns. He has transformed from a child living with trauma and fear to becoming a young man who is a leader among his peers. Each year the CDF-NY Beat the Odds® scholarship program honors five exceptional high school students from New York City. Learn more and help us make their dreams come true. 

Watch Djino's video


MAMADOU NDIAYE

After losing his parents at a young age, Mamadou was raised by his grandmother, sharing a home in Mali with many other relatives. When his grandmother passed away suddenly, seven year old Mamadou was left alone to survive living in the streets with other youth.  He did not have enough food or money and every day activities like attending school were very difficult.  Mamadou persevered and eventually made his way to the U.S.  Mamadou is an avid soccer player who excels academically and is looking forward to college and a career helping others. Each year the CDF-NY Beat the Odds® scholarship program honors five exceptional high school students from New York City. Learn more and help us make their dreams come true.

Watch Mamadou's video


NORMA DEGANTE

Norma grew up in a household troubled with alcoholism and abuse. Her situation became even more difficult when her parents were imprisoned, leaving Norma and her four siblings under the care of her oldest sister. Norma and her siblings live in a two bedroom apartment with her sister, who is married and has a child.  The small apartment now provides shelter for eight people. Nevertheless, Norma still finds ways to study and excel in her classes, even if that means seeking solitude in the bathroom at home to do her homework late at night. Each year the CDF-NY Beat the Odds® scholarship program honors five exceptional high school students from New York City. Learn more and help us make their dreams come true.

Watch Norma's video


ROSEMARY RODRIGUEZ

Rosemary grew up in an abusive household where she faced many challenges and at times struggled to find a way out. The family finances became strained over time, resulting in an eviction and two years in a homeless shelter. However, Rosemary continues to persevere, to be an example for her younger brother and to advocate for other young people who face challenges in their lives. Each year the CDF-NY Beat the Odds® scholarship program honors five exceptional high school students from New York City. Learn more and help us make their dreams come true.

Watch Rosemary's video


WINDILA BALBONE

After her father took on a new wife, Windila was denied contact with her mother and she endured years of neglect.  With the help of her uncle, Windila was able to leave Burkina Faso, to go visit her mom in New York and was reunited with the person who motivated her the most. Since moving here, she has endured constant bullying from fellow students. With her mother and sister serving as her motivation, Windila is dedicated to ensuring that all girls - especially girls in her country - are respected and get the education they deserve. Each year the CDF-NY Beat the Odds® scholarship program honors five exceptional high school students from New York City. Learn more and help us make their dreams come true.

Watch Windila's video