Achieve Gala Senior Student Speaker, Elijah

From the moment you meet Elijah Beauford, you feel he is someone special. His passion—for learning, for bettering himself and for helping those around him—is contagious. While he’s just 18 years old, you can’t help but feel he has something incredible to teach you.

A student from Manual High School, Elijah is motivated and hardworking—but things did not always come so easily to him. He has overcome many obstacles to emerge a leader at his school. During his younger years, he lived with his mother and didn’t have a solid relationship with his father. In the aftermath of a family tragedy, Elijah struggled in his early teen years and school didn’t come easily to him. He eventually developed a strong relationship with his father, with whom Elijah now lives. He largely attributes his father to helping him become the strong and focused person he is today.

When he is not spending time helping others, Elijah is very involved in school, while also working a part time job! He collaborated with the African American Task Force Committee, played Varsity Football, was on the Student Board of Education, and was a member of the Manual debate team. He also has taken advantage of the many different opportunities that DPS has offered him by taking career education and AP classes to prepare him for life after high school.

Elijah has considered his interests and his options when he thinks about his future.  When he graduates, Elijah wants to be a contractor—which he learned about through his DPS classes and an internship—and eventually own his own construction business. His goal is to address environmental and social issues related to poor quality low-income housing.