2019 CKW LUXE STAR AWARDS
Shooting Star Award
CKW LUXE is proud to announce that Zoe Lalji is our honoree for the Shooting Star Award. This award recognizes the young people who pave the way for themselves. They have shown extraordinary effort in the pursuit of a particular goal and have influenced the community for the better.
“I like this quote by Pablo Picasso: ‘Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.’ ” – Zoe Lalji
Zoe Lalji is an 18-year-old writer, musician, ALS advocate, CEO, TEDx speaker, and high school senior working toward an entrepreneurship diploma. You could say she wears many hats.
Upon discovering her beloved father had been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Zoe put herself in the front lines to raise awareness of, and funds for research into, this devastating disease. She founded the Lalji ALS Foundation, completing the 501©(3) process, to bring awareness and find a cure for ALS. As well, she created www.ALSHeroes.com, a website she consistently maintains with updated information on tackling ALS. Zoe also initiated and led the first annual ALS Speak Out with Silence Awareness Campaign, which saw over 500 students in her school practice silence throughout the school day in honor of ALS patients who have lost their voices. As team leader for the Walk to Defeat ALS, she helped raise $30,754 with which to fight the disease.
Continually fostering knowledge regarding ALS, Zoe has dedicated herself to talking about it on a variety of stages. She was featured on Great Day Houston speaking about ALS awareness, conducted a Ted Ed Talk about ALS at the Village School and delivered a talk entitled ALS: Tragedy to Transformation at TEDx Sugarland. Zoe also delivered a keynote speech about ambition and goal setting to a group of women of all ages at the annual Sisters Together for an Empowering Purpose summit.
Zoe attended William P. Clements High School from 2015 to 2017. She is currently a student at The Village School where she is an Entrepreneurship Diploma Candidate and will graduate this year. From 2017 to 2018, Zoe was one of 20 selected from the 300 applicants to sit on the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, which educates students about decisions made in municipal government and allows students to share their perspectives with the mayor. From 2016 to 2017, she was one of two students selected from each public school in Fort Bend to Fort Bend ISD Student Leadership, which educates students on decisions made by the local school board and allows them to share their perspectives on future endeavors.
In 2015, Zoe founded DECA, a club which teaches and allows students to compete in business skills and role play in business topics of interest. She was director of competition from 2016 to 2017 and has been president since 2017. With the club, Zoe competed internationally for two years and was district-qualified twice and state-qualified once. Zoe also represented William P. Clements High School at the annual Diversity Conference, 2016-17, and has been an officer with the American Red Cross Club since 2018.
As a member of Model UN from 2015 to 2018, Zoe won several awards, including Most Outstanding Delegate and Best Delegate at several local, national, and international conferences. She has been a National Honor Society member since 1918 and she was presented with the Emerging Leader Youth Advocacy Award in 2019.
As a musician, Zoe is a student of the guitar and has played and sung at a number of Houston’s coffee houses and restaurants and at school events. She has also sung the national anthem at several local charity walks. From 2015 to 2017, Zoe was a member of the school choir and sang in the varsity choir from 2016 to 2017, after being selected by audition. She participated in four Texas Music Educators Association choir competitions and qualified for the All-Region Choir three times and the All-State Choir twice.
As a writer, Zoe is a monthly contributor and guest writer for many local magazines, including Sweetwater Style, absolutely! Memorial Magazine, absolutely Katy! Community Magazine, and Fort Bend Focus Magazine. At the age of ten, she wrote Zoe’s Adventures, and became a first-time published author. She also writes a blog: www.battlecalledlife.com.
In the summer of 2016, Zoe traveled with Global Encounters in Mombasa, Kenya to Mombasa for a month with a group of 60 of her peers through the Aga Khan Development Network. The group worked closely with a local school to create a self-sustaining program and an after-school peer-tutoring program. Zoe personally initiated using abacuses as teaching tools by showing teachers and students how to make them from local materials and then to use them.
At home, Zoe has been of great service to her community. She mentored eighth-grade girls in journaling , mindfulness, and harnessing their ambition. During Hurricane Harvey, Zoe was a medical clinic volunteer. In support of mindfulness, she spoke about the importance of mindfulness and stress management in schools at the 2017 Fort Bend ISD Counselor Orientation, created a proposal for the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees, proposed a mindfulness-in-schools program to the Fort Bend ISD Health and Wellness Board, and campaigned for mindfulness rooms in schools and 60 seconds of mindfulness before the start of each period.
CKW LUXE would like to congratulate Zoe Lalji on being the Shooting Star Award honoree. As the embodiment of the award, she focuses on goals that benefit others and sees them through. We admire her quest to help move the needle in finding a cure for ALS and wish her luck as she enters the fields of medicine, neuroscience, and research.