CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — 12-year-old Elijah Lee of Chesterfield is among the top 20 finalists of Nickelodeon’s “Kid of the Year” award.
Elijah, a 7th grader at Swift Creek Middle School, is being recognized for his work to fight against child abuse. It’s something that Elijah takes personally after an old classmate confided in him that she had been hit by her father.
“It shocked me. It pushed me back a little bit,” he said. “I didn’t understand how someone could do that.”
At just six years old, Elijah did all he knew to do: he told a teacher and his mother. A few years later, though, and after months of planning, Elijah organized his first march against child abuse. He said he wanted to use his voice for other kids who may be struggling like his former classmate.
“I saw a problem and I wanted to be the solution,” he explained.
More than 200 people attended Elijah’s first march in North Carolina back in 2017. The next year, the number grew to 250. By his third march, more than 400 people showed up. Elijah is now in the midst of planning his fourth.
He told 8news, his desire to march came from people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and late congressman John Lewis.
“Because of their voices, we have change. Just because these people marched for a couple of years, we have laws passed,” he said.
For his work, Elijah is now in the top 20 running for Nickelodeon and Time Magazine’s “Kid of the Year” award. More than 5,000 kids applied, and it honors kids across the country who have made a positive impact in their communities.
The award will be announced during a Nickelodeon broadcast on Dec. 5.
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