Since coming to Philadelphia 28 years ago, 1993 College graduate Helen Gym has been praised as one of the most prominent city activists.

The White House seems to agree, and on Thursday announced they will honor Gym, a former City Editor at the Daily Pennsylvanian, with a Cesar Chavez “Champion of Change” award.

This award is given to those “who have committed themselves to improving the lives of others in their communities and across the country,” according to a White House press release.

Gym is a co-founder of Parents United for Public Education, a Philadelphia organization that gets parents involved with the budget process to ensure that schools receive the minimum level of resources required to provide proper education. She also serves as the vice president of Asian Americans United and previously was a teacher in the school district.

In honor of Cesar Chavez Day on Monday, people from across the country honoring Chavez’s legacy of service were invited to Washington to receive the “Champions of Change” award. On Monday, Gym joined her nine fellow recipients at the White House, where the group discussed how to advance opportunities for all Americans. She was recognized for her work with Asian Americans and immigrants in Philadelphia.

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