Elijah Armstrong is an upperclassman majoring in Education and Public Policy at Penn State University. Elijah founded the student-led project Equal Opportunities for Students to foster self-advocacy and inform students, families, and community stakeholders of their education rights under federal law. He is an alum of the 2018 AAPD Summer Internship Program where he interned for Senator Bob Casey.
Elijah is also a public speaker on equity, inclusion, and advocacy. He has given speeches at Columbia University’s Teachers College, New York City Public School Department of Inclusion and given a TED Talk at Johnson and Wales in Miami. He has also been a guest on NPR, discussing the economics of disability. Elijah began his advocacy work after experiencing seizures and sickness related to epilepsy. As a junior at a Jacksonville college prep school, he struggled with the lack of appropriate accommodations and bullying. This caused him to develop strong self-advocacy skills and a desire to support other students with disabilities.
For fun, Elijah performs stand-up at comedy clubs and theatre roles. One of the most inspirational moments of his life was standing in the Rose Garden listening to President Barack Obama and the Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi discuss the importance of human rights and valuing every person.