Inside LADA

November 1, 2018: DDA Anthony Ellis Receives Award for His Longtime Dedication to Project LEAD

On October 25, Deputy District Attorney Anthony Ellis received the Project LEAD Facilitator of the Year award for the 2017-18 school year from the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF).

Project LEAD is a 20-week curriculum developed in partnership with CRF.

Ellis, who is legally blind, has been a program facilitator for 25 years since its inception in 1993.

“We are grateful for the enthusiasm and steadfast commitment Anthony has brought to this program,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said.

Ellis has taught more than 500 fifth graders about the criminal justice system. His leadership in the classroom has instilled within students respect for the law, and has enriched them with positive decision-making strategies.

He has learned throughout the years that relating to youths through personal stories helps the material resonate in an impactful way.

“I share my story with the kids for inspiration and I think I really connect with them,” Ellis said. “I tell them that failure is not an option, you must step up and do the best you can.”

At a ceremony hosted by CRF, Ellis addressed his colleagues and expressed interest in continuing his work with Project LEAD.

“I cherish doing this program and it’s a real highlight of what I do every day,” he said. “I feel deep in my soul that we can save lives doing what we do.”

To learn more about Project LEAD, visit