Helen Gym is one of 10 people nationwide to be named a Cesar Chavez Champion of Change.
The White House said Thursday that the award is being given to civic leaders who "have committed themselves to improving the lives of others in their communities and across the country."
The group of honorees will be in Washington on Monday to participate in a discussion about how to expand opportunities for all Americans.
Gym is a former Philadelphia public school teacher. She leads the board of Asian Americans United and is a co-founder of Parents United for Public Education.