The contributions of school employees and local citizens to the Long Beach Education Foundation help thousands of courageous kids beat the odds. Some have become the first members of their families to graduate from high school and to go to college. Some achieve despite difficult circumstances. Some students face tough challenges: serious injuries, life-threatening illnesses, severe disabilities, extreme poverty, loss of loved ones and other difficulties that could impair their education. Some have excelled despite incredible odds. For whatever reason, they inspire us and deserve encouragement and recognition. Each year, the Long Beach Education Foundation honors these students and their families at the Most Inspiring Student Awards Dinner. This event, held each spring, helps students who serve as wonderful examples of perseverance and determination to feel very special and serve as role models to others.