Wendy Liao honoured with Zonta award
May 14, 2012 | Categories: School
Monarch Park Collegiate Institute student Wendy Liao recently won the Zonta International District 4 Women in Public Affairs Award. Liao recently participated in a democracy forum where she got to visit Parliament Hill. She's planning to study public policy and hopes to be a politician one day.
Wendy Liao has helped build a school in Kenya, she is an honours student, and she a dedicated volunteer - now she has one more accomplishment to add to her resume.
The Monarch Park Collegiate Institute is this year's recipient of not only the Zonta Club of Toronto's Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) award, but also the Zonta International District 4 YWPA award. (District 4 includes 39 clubs from Ontario, New York state and Pennsylvania). Zonta is a worldwide service organization of executives in business and the professions working together to advance the status of women.
"She's just a little go-getter," said Nita McCown of Liao. "I'm just so impressed with her."
McCown is the president of the Toronto club. She was impressed with the amount of work Liao has done in the community.
Liao, a Grade 12 student, brought back elections to her high school in May 2010 after years of student government being formed through an interview process and served two years as student council president; she has volunteered with the local NDP; she is in charge of a team of 20 volunteers at Toronto East General Hospital, where she has been volunteering for three and a half years; she maintains a 90 per cent average; and she also finds time to work part time.
Volunteering and being a part of her community is really important to Liao.
"Being involved in the community really sets a good example for the younger students...You can really make a difference," she said.
It is mandatory for all graduating high school students to have done 40 hours of community service - Liao has done 1,500 in the past four years. It's all about time management, she said, adding she gets about six hours of sleep a night.
She applied for the Zonta award and was surprised to learn she had not only won the award at the Toronto level, but also from the district.
"It was just really surprising...It really humbled me because some of the work I'm doing is actually being recognized," she said. To be the recipient of an award for public affairs is just icing on the cake for Liao who plans to study international affairs at Carleton University in its public policy program.
"I really want to go into politics," she said.
Liao has also received awards from the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, the Rotary Club of Toronto and a scholarship to Carleton.