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Mona Cho wins White House honor for combatting online harassment and abuse

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Mona Cho

A 15-year-old Korean American student has been honored by the White House with the Girls Leading Change (GLC) Award for her contributions to social change.

Mona Cho, a 10th grader at Mira Costa High School from Redondo Beach, received the award in person from First Lady Jill Biden at the White House on October 11 and introduced a documentary she produced about online harassment and mental health.

Cho, who has also served as a Beach Cities Health District’s Youth Advisory Council and District’s newly created Youth Health & Safety Committee in the South Bay region of Southern California, was recognized for her creation of a short film that follows real-life stories of the impact of damaged digital footprints.

The GLC Awards recognize girls across the country who aspire to be female leaders, and 15 are selected each year to be honored at a ceremony hosted by the First Lady at the White House. This year, individuals and teams from 13 states were honored, with Cho being the only winner from California and the only Asian recipient.

“It is my honor to celebrate this exceptional group of “Girls Leading Change” at the White House,” said First Lady Jill Biden. “These young women are protecting and preserving the earth, writing and sharing stories that change minds, and turning their pain into purpose. Together, they represent the potential of young people across the country, and it is my hope that others can learn from the power of their innovation, strength, and hope.”

“I would like to interview more people and young people abroad,” said Cho, accepting the award, “and I hope that this will broaden their perspectives.”

BY BRIAN CHOI    [ichoi@koreadaily.com]