Compton Teen Elijah Christopher DeVaughn Earns Early Acceptance to Harvard

| December 16, 2016

“I think that struggle – it ignites a fire under you to want to work hard and to want to do more.”




This Compton teen has had a rough upbringing, but his future looks a lot brighter now after having recently been accepted to Harvard University.


Christmas came early for a Compton teen who has been admitted to one of the most prestigious universities in the country.

Elijah Christopher DeVaughn – nicknamed “E-Jayy” –  found out last night that he was accepted into Harvard University after applying as an early action candidate.

E-Jayy, a 17-year-old who commutes 45 minutes to the Chadwick School in Palos Verdes which he attends on a scholarship, said his rough Compton upbringing motivated him to succeed.

“I think that struggle – it ignites a fire under you to want to work hard and to want to do more,” he said.

As a child, E-Jayy would lie on the floor as gunshots rang out right outside his door.

E-Jayy said he remembers his mother would scrape change together when he was 6 years old to be able to buy him a chicken sandwich from McDonald’s.

His mother, Sherree DeVaughn, raised E-Jayy alone for 13 years while his dad was in a federal penitentiary.

Since then, E-Jayy and his father have renewed their relationship, and now the future looks a lot brighter.

While he will be entering Harvard with an undeclared major, E-Jayy said he hopes to one day become a neurosurgeon.

“He’s something to be reckoned with,” his mother said. “He’s a gift.”


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