Elijah "EJayy" DeVaughn #FromCompton2Harvard

The short story!

Hi everyone, my name is Sherree, and my son, Elijah "EJayy" DeVaughn, has achieved the improbable and made history in Compton: acceptance to Harvard University's Class of 2021.  

He could use your help making the improbable more possible. Though EJayy has been awarded tuition and Room and Board, there are still many expenses not yet covered for the next 4 years at Harvard.  Here are the major expenses we still need to cover:

-School supply items (computer & good old fashioned notebooks and pens)
-Travel between our home in California to Boston, Massachusetts
-Extracurricular activities and clubs
-Dormitory and survival items
-Warm clothes
-Food off campus

Harvard estimates that these out of pocket expenses will add up to at least $2,900/per year.  Since EJayy will want to go above and beyond as he always has before, we estimate his costs will be higher.  That said, at ~$4,000/year, EJayy will need ~$16,000.

He would greatly appreciate any donations so he can focus 100% on his studies and get the most of his education.  He aspires ultimately to give back to his community in whatever capacity God sees fit for him!

For more info about E-Jayy , view the NBC news video ‌here!

Thank you for reading!


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My son, Elijah "EJayy" DeVaughn grew up in a single-parent household in Compton, California, a city that has been historically under resourced. 

EJayy's father, Elijah DeVaughn Sr., was incarcerated when EJayy was a baby. He would go on to serve 13 years in prison, missing much of his son’s childhood.

I took EJayy to visit his dad in prison nearly every other weekend. I used those visits as teachable moments for my son. I encouraged EJayy to work diligently and to rise above.  EJayy has beat all the odds. 

With dedication and consistent effort, EJayy maintained a 4.0 GPA (Straight A's) throughout his high school years at Chadwick School, graduating in the top 10% of his class. Also in high school, EJayy was recognized by the California Educational Theatre Association as the “Best Supporting Actor” in California in both 2015 and 2016 for his roles of Moses in Chadwick School’s production of Animal Farm and Mercutio in Chadwick School’s production of Romeo and Juliet respectively. Active on the stage and the field, in 2016, EJayy was SoCal Prep Legends Boys Athlete of the Week, for which The Daily Breeze Newspaper honored him with a feature story depicting his accomplishments. With hard work and determination both inside and outside of the classroom, EJayy was admitted to Harvard University in December 2016, achieving his wildest dreams. He went #FromComptontoHarvard.

During his undergraduate career at Harvard University, EJayy has interned for then-Senator (now Vice President-Elect) Kamala Harris, Governor Gavin Newsom, and the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project. Not only this, he has received numerous honors, having been awarded a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and the Harvard Presidential Public Service Fellowship, among others. EJayy has developed a deep passion to fight for the least of these––those disenfranchised, disregarded, and condemned.

On November 21, 2020, EJayy achieved greatly once more: he was named a 2021 United States Rhodes Scholar. In the coming year,  he plans to continue his studies at Oxford University. In January of 2021, EJayy was accepted into Yale Law School, where he will study to become an attorney. 

EJayy’s  Dad, Chris, is now home, is a successful business-owner, and is actively engaged in EJayy’s life. EJayy has made me, his family, and his Compton community so proud.  We can’t wait to see what more God has in store for him.

Thank you for any and all additional donations. We are so grateful.

NOTE: This GoFundMe was created in 2016 to raise funds for EJayy during his college years for books, school supplies, travel, etc. Thanks to all of  your donations, we have overwhelmingly exceeded our goal. Any additional donations now are greatly appreciated. Thank you!


Sherree Lewis-DeVaughn
Compton, CA

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