Danielle Smith will receive the award, presented by AT&T, at GLSEN’s seventh annual Respect Awards – New York gala May 24.
Smith said that she got involved with LGBT rights when she was in eighth grade.
“I met someone who was in the Gay-Straight Alliance at my high school and he became a mentor for me and we became really good friends,” Smith said.
Her friend introduced her to the GSA. “I’m actually not gay myself, but I have gay friends and gay relatives,” she said. “I feel really strongly that everyone should have equal rights and feel safe in school.”