6 December 2013 11:46 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

During awards season, actors, screenwriters, directors and others working in film are feted at near-constant festivals and awards shows. On Dec. 5, however, it was all about the kids.

The Children’s Defense Fund-California hosted their 23rd Beat the Odds Awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel, awarding $10,000 college scholarships to five high school students who have overcome adversity in their personal lives to become successful in school and extra-curriculars. Jennifer Garner, Conan O’Brien, Reese Witherspoon, J.J. Abrams and more joined in to honor the scholars.

“What I really love about this organization and this particular event is that it is truly all about the kids,” Witherspoon said before introducing one of the honorees. “For example, many of you will notice if you look at the back of your chair, there is no gift bag hanging there, nor will you find one waiting for you at the valet.”

Witherspoon smiled as she then described that, »

- Alex Stedman

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