Improving Women's Lives for Over 50 Years!
Thanks to all the students who submitted applications for this year's YWPA competition. The judges are rolling up their sleeves and reviewing the applications.
Watch this space to find out whose application will get sent on to District 8 and potentially to Zonta International!
Karmen Legge just recently graduated from Esquimalt secondary’s challenge and french immersion programs on the honour roll. Throughout her time at Esquimalt I volunteered through multiple clubs to better our school community, such as the Youth Political Commons which is a group with the goal of education through discussion. She also volunteered at SKAM theatre as a teacher’s assistant and with REACH performing choir for persons with neurodiversities. In anything she does as a leader, she tries to ensure that all the opinions of her peers are being heard. This is really important to her because she is still young and has a lot to learn. She has also been a member of the British Columbia Youth Parliament for two years and was the student for Esquimalt at our district’s board meetings. She is honoured to have been offered those positions, and she strives to serve my community to the best of her abilities. In the coming term she will be attending the University of British Columbia in their science program. She would like to thank the Zonta club for their support and hopes to learn more from them in the future
Manvi has always enjoyed working and connecting with people from a young age, which inspired her passion for volunteerism. She has been a volunteer at Victoria General Hospital since 2015 in various patient support roles such as an Emergency Department Volunteer and Step Up Youth Advisor Team Lead. In her role as a Youth Advisor, she led a group of youth volunteers in their weekly shifts. Many patients do not have family members who visit them in the hospital and by spending 10 minutes of her day with a person, she was able to make a positive impact. She has been dancing with Shan-e-Punjab Heritage School since 2008 and has been a volunteer dance teacher since 2015 coaching girls ages 8-11 in Bhangra Dance. She is able to share her passion for dance and culture with the upcoming generation by incorporating team-building skills and fostering confidence. She has been involved in her cultural community as an active volunteer at Victoria Hindu Parishad Cultural Centre helping in the kitchen, as a dance performer, MC, and presenter at multicultural events. In her school community, she is a part of our Peer Tutoring Program where she is a tutor, the English Support Program Team Lead, and After School Tutoring Supervisor. She has also been an active member of her school’s Community Leadership Program. She is so grateful and honoured to be 2nd Place recipient of the Zonta Young Women in Public Affairs Award which allows her to pursue her educational goals and focus on her volunteer work.e.
Aysha Emmerson, a 17-year-old graduate of St. Michaels University School, first won the Zonta Club of Victoria scholarship, went on to secure the Zonta District 8 scholarship and has been awarded one of the 10 international scholarships. She was the only winner in Canada. Emmerson is scheduled to attend Harvard University in the fall and intends to concentrate on Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies and Global Health and Health Policy. “I want to use my words to inspire, to empower, to build bridges and break down stigmas,” she said. “I want to give voice to the dispossessed by using my words to teach others how to use theirs. “Globally, women face challenges that obstruct their empowerment. Poverty, gender inequality and insufficient education are overarching obstacles that must be addressed. Gender inequality takes the form of violence, unequal pay and opportunities, sex trafficking and child marriage and gender roles and ideals, “Emmerson said. The Zonta Club of Victoria is marking its 50th anniversary this year, and is proud that the Victoria club and District 8 winner has been selected for one of the 10 International awards, each worth $4,000 US, said club president Barbie Zipp. Thirty-two District winners from 19 countries competed. “Aysha Emmerson is one of the most extraordinary people I have encountered in my career as an educator,” said Kate Knight, university counsellor and academic counsellor at St. Michaels University School. “She is the ‘real deal’ - globally minded and socially conscious, able to create vision at the big-picture level and deliver on every aspect of the detail. “Aysha is an outstanding scholar, prepared for the rigor of post-secondary with the skills and habits of mind to contribute to the learning community.” The 2017-2018 Head Girl at SMUS co-chairs the 40-member prefect assembly, runs school gatherings and serves as a liaison between teachers and students. She is involved in the school's sailing, cross-country and soccer teams and is a member of Chapel team, the newspaper, service council, service leadership and model UN Emmerson has served as head of ME-to-WE Club and 30h Famine Club the past two years, sits on the Vancouver Island Royal Commonwealth Society Youth Council, which discusses world issues, youth engagement in the Commonwealth, and addressed an audience of 18,000 at WE Day Vancouver 2017 in October. She founded Self.I.E (Self Inspiration and Empowerment), an organization that conducts day-camps for girls entering middle-school. Run by high-schoolers, each day of camp includes activities and reflections on one of five themes: self-care, self-acceptance, self-expression, self-defence and self-to-others. “The goal is to help a vulnerable age-group appreciate and understand themselves, allowing them to flourish, so they can give back and support other girls,” Emmerson said. She is exploring partnerships for its roll-out. Emmerson volunteered during the summers of 2014/15/17 with Project Somos in Guatemala, a leader in female empowerment: providing basic needs, education, vocational skills and counselling to at-risk mothers and their children. Project Somos is an NGO located in the Central Highlands of Guatemala. Its mission is to prevent child abandonment by supporting widowed and single mothers who are at risk of losing their children due to poverty and difficult living situations.
The goal of the Zonta International Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award Program is to encourage young women to participate in public affairs by recognizing a young woman’s commitment to the volunteer sector, evidence of volunteer leadership achievements and a dedication to the empowerment of women.
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