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Elijah Lee

2024 Tomorrow’s Leader Award
Watch the tribute video

Elijah Lee | Tomorrow’s Leader Award
Youth Activist, Hear Our Voices

Elijah Lee is a 16-year-old, and a national advocate for children. His activism started at the age of 10 years old, as he led his first child abuse awareness march, where he rallied the community and educated others about its prevalence. The 2020 march had a record number of over 450 people in attendance and the marches have remained an annual event for the past 5 years.

As Elijah learned more about childhood trauma, he recognized a need to convert grim and unwelcoming hospital rooms into child-friendly safe rooms to serve victims of child abuse and neglect. This first occurred at Vidant North Hospital in North Carolina; and later, when he moved to Virginia, he partnered with the Children’s Hospital of Richmond to do similar work, raising over $12,500 to renovate hospital rooms for children. 

For his efforts, Elijah was nominated by the Children’s Hospital Foundation and selected as the recipient of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Central Virginia Chapter’s Emerging Philanthropic Leader Award in 2022.

Elijah founded a nonprofit organization, Hear Our Voices, in 2021, dedicated to empowering young people with an emphasis on assisting youth to find their voices and become agents of change. For the past 5 years, in addition to leading annual marches, Elijah has served as a national public speaker on issues of abuse, adverse childhood experiences, and youth rights at a number of conferences in Virginia, North Carolina, and Indiana.

To make systematic change, he has become involved in legislative work. Working directly with members of the Virginia General Assembly, Elijah has helped draft over six pieces of legislation supporting the needs of child abuse survivors in the areas of trauma-informed care, mental health, and education last year. Many of the bills received bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate; and three bills have been signed by the Governor of Virginia.

Elijah consistently earns Principal’s List and in his spare time enjoys traveling, studying justice initiatives, and spending time with family. He does not shy away from addressing difficult topics and encourages others to do the same. He is grateful for every opportunity he is afforded to amplify the voices of child abuse survivors.

2024 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Tribute Video

Watch this tribute video about the Elijah Lee, 2024 recipient of the Tomorrow's Leader Award.