WILMINGTON, Del. – TeenSHARP junior Elijah Jones has been named the 2019 Princeton Prize in Race Relations Award winner for the Philadelphia region. Elijah, a Wilmington native who attends The Tatnall School, is one of twenty-eight high school students from around the United States that have been named recipients of the 2019 Princeton Prize in Race Relations. The Princeton Prize in Race Relations program identifies and recognizes high school-age students who significantly engage and challenge their schools or communities to advance racial equity in order to promote respect and understanding among all people. Elijah was nominated by his TeenSHARP pre-college advisor Anthony Phillips. “When I saw the opportunity, I knew Elijah was the perfect candidate. Elijah is the whole package—fierce intellect with an amazing commitment to service and community uplift,” said Anthony Phillips.
Elijah joined TeenSHARP as a freshman in 2016. As a TeenSHARP student, he receives college advising, leadership development, and academic preparation in college-level courses focused on race and social justice during TeenSHARP’s Saturday sessions. Elijah is a junior class officer and is co-president of the school’s Black Student Union.
He has given a TEDx talk to raise awareness about the importance of diversity in 21st-century education and has been published in The News Journal, stressing the need for diversity in his private school.
He also co-authored a report with his peers in the DelawareCAN Youth Advocacy Council about the need for more teacher diversity in Delaware’s public education system and discussed the report findings with Governor John Carney. Elijah regularly attends conferences on diversity, inclusion, and how to deal with issues of racism. Elijah’s mother, Erica Dorsett, had this to say about his accomplishment: “Ensuring your child receives a quality education is a civil right. But unfortunately, in our experience, it has been and continues to be a fight. I never considered that during his pursuit, my son would face direct obstacles, both intentionally and unintentionally aimed squarely at the color of his skin, our income, and unfounded stereotypes. I’m proud that Elijah is answering these challenges with truth by exposing issues and building bridges. We are thankful that Princeton University awards young people like Elijah for fighting the good fight against racism and discrimination across the country.
” The Princeton Prize includes a $1,000 cash award; an invitation to an all-expenses-paid trip to Princeton University to attend the Princeton Prize National Symposium on Race; and recognition by the regional committee at the official local ceremony. Elijah was honored along with his fellow award winners during the annual Princeton Prize National Symposium on Race held on the Princeton University campus in April.
He will be recognized at the regional ceremony in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania on May 16th. TeenSHARP junior Whitney Grinnage-Cassidy will also be recognized during the May 16th ceremony as a recipient of a Certificate of Accomplishment for her work to improve race relations.
About TeenSHARP: TeenSHARP is a regional organization headquartered in Wilmington, DE that is on a mission to prepare talented low-income, African American, and Latino students to attend and thrive at the nation’s top colleges. This mission is in service of a bold vision that one day the diversity of those occupying our nation’s highly-skilled jobs and highest leadership positions will be as rich as the diversity of our population. Founded in 2009, TeenSHARP has evolved into a leading provider of innovative, at-scale college access and success support in the Delaware Valley region (including Delaware, Philadelphia, and southern New Jersey). TeenSHARP has achieved incredible results over the last ten years: 100% of TeenSHARP scholars successfully pursue a 4-year college education, with 95% of the scholars being admitted to selective college and universities every year.