Angela Zhong, a rising senior at Cypress Woods High School, was among 13 students across the U.S. to be recognized by the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia Aug. 15. Zhong was chosen for her work to raise awareness about a variety of social justice issues in the Houston area.

Zhong, 16, was honored at the annual TD Bank Young Hero Awards ceremony, which “recognizes young people who have championed liberty through civic engagement, conflict resolution, diversity promotion, and school or community leadership,” according to a press release.

In February, Zhong led efforts to organize the first ever two-day Turn Empathy Into Action Youth Peace Conference, where more than 200 Houston area students gathered to attend interactive sessions on five key issues facing the Houston area: human trafficking, homelessness, gun violence, environmental degradation and general intolerance.

The goal of the conference was to help students figure out tangible ways to enact positive change in their own communities, Zhong said.

“I definitely feel like there’s a lot of problems that affect Houston specifically, and I wanted to raise awareness for this,” she said. “If I am in a position of leadership, I want to try to use the resources I have to do the most amount of good, and part of that is to empower students to be able to focus on their own projects.”  […]