A boy from Chesterfield, Virginia has been chosen as one the top 20 finalists for Nickelodeon's "Kid of the Year" award.
At just 12 years old, Elijah Lee is already making change by advocating for children who have been abused. He became invested after a classmate had told him that her father had hit her. Lee said he was shocked and that he "didn't understand how someone could do that." Though 6 years old at the time, he did the right thing and told a teacher.
A few years later, he started planning marches to raise awareness of child abuse and use his voice for children like his old classmate who may be struggling silently. His first march in 2017 drew more than 200 people, 250 the following year, and his third march saw more than 400 attendees.
"I saw a problem and I wanted to be the solution," he said. He was inspired to march for change by activists and Civil Rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the late Congressman John Lewis.
"Because of their voices, we have change," said Lee. "Just because these people marched for a couple of years, we have laws passed."
Even in the midst of a difficult 2020, he is still focused on his cause and planning his next march.
Now, he is being recognized for his work. Out of the more than 5,000 children who applied, Lee is one of 20 finalists for the "Kid of the Year" award presented by Nickelodeon and Time Magazine that will honor a young person for their activism and impact on their community, according to 8News.
The "Kid of the Year" will be announced on Friday, December 4 at 6:30 p.m. on Nickelodeon.
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