Organization honors Memphis youth who 'beat the odds' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Organization honors Memphis youth who 'beat the odds'

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Some Memphis youth who have overcome personal hardships were honored Thursday night by an aptly named organization called "Beat the Odds."

Middle College High School student Mari Andrews was the first honoree introduced.

"I've been a diabetic since I was the age of six, I've died for 10 minutes, I've been in a coma," said Andrews.

Now, she plans to pursue a career in childhood healthcare in order to give back.

"It's amazing, you know, to tell your story," said Andrews.

Andrews was one of six youth receiving one of the awards this year after receiving nominations from friends, counselors, teachers, or others. 

The awards are based on how they've handled social, health, or other obstacles.

"Nationally, it's sponsored by the Child Defense Fund,“ said Executive Director Theresa Okwumabua. “It's been 23 years now since we had our first Beat the Odds banquet in Memphis." 

Illness couldn't hold recent CBHS graduate Conner Buse back either.

"I got a kidney transplant in 2013," said Buse.

He plans to attend the University of Memphis next fall and, like Andrews, continue to champion the philosophy Beat the Odds represents.

"I just want to preach the message of staying positive, smile more, don't give up," said Buse.

"Remain positive, because if you remain positive, then everything else will work out," said Andrews.

Learn more about the organization by clicking here.

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