Joe, who was diagnosed with incurable mitochondrial disease at age 9, is a youth ambassador for the United Mitochondrial Disease foundation, which promotes research and education. He has given thousands of hours to raise awareness of the disease among lawmakers and the general public, Ms. Lee said.
The award was presented by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama, she said. Joe participated in the program as a representative of the Atherton school.
"What inspires me about Joe is that he is constantly forging ahead with his goals despite the frequent setbacks that he encounters because of his disease," said Sacred Heart Preparatory Principal James Everitt in the school's announcement.