By Dana Kozlov

(CBS) — It’s a contest more than a half a million children entered, but only one student from the western suburbs made the final cut.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov introduces us to a young artist who’s using her easel to spread peace.

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The corner of Ashley Zhang’s Bloomingdale basement is where the 12-year-old goes to find inspiration and tap into her creativity.

A budding artist since age 8, Ashley says her artistic passion began to wane until teachers urged her to enter the Lions Club International poster contest.

The theme? “A Celebration of Peace.”

“It’s a little positivity in the world that’s a little crazy right now,” says Lions Club International spokesperson Kristopher Kempski.

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Kempski says more than 600,000 kids aged 11 to 13 — from 60 countries — entered the annual contest.  Ashley’s drawing was selected as one of 116 finalists.

It now hangs in Loyola University’s Museum of Art.

She says she isn’t focused on the top prize. She drew to convey hope, and she hopes to inspire again.

“I don’t think winning is really necessary. Because I’m still a child, and I have a long way to go,” Ashley says.

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Lions Club International will notify the winners of their peace poster contest by Feb. 1.