Improving Women's Lives for Over 50 Years!
A student at Oak Bay High- Sidney, pictured here receiving her award from Vice President Lorraine Markin, tells us:
I have been involved in a variety of ensembles and roles in the Oak Bay High music program, and I have taken on leadership roles as the percussion section leader and a teaching assistant for the grade nine band. The music program has not only allowed me to explore my passion for music but has also given me life-long friendships and a supportive community, and giving back to that community is very rewarding for me. My role as section leader has helped me develop into a strong, clearly communicative leader and make a positive contribution to the band community by helping the section work towards our collective goals. As a TA for grade nine band this year I have been able to assist the new class of percussion students in building their foundational skills, adjusting to the high school band environment and developing their musical expertise. It is amazing to see the grade nine percussionists improve as musicians, and it is rewarding when something I explained clicks and helps them succeed. Additionally, I am also currently co-captain of the Oak Bay High debate club, which allows me to help younger students develop confidence and public speaking skills.
A student at Lambrick Park, Lauren, pictured here receiving her award from Vice President Lorraine Markin, tells us the following:
In high school, I spend my time volunteering at sporting events as sports are a major component in my life. I am the go to person for volunteering to score-keep games, set up/take down tournaments and events. I find it very rewarding as I get to connect with fans and learn new skills. Through volunteering, I have learned good communication and leadership skills as I was responsible for teaching the younger students how to keep score. I believe that being on sports teams provides opportunities for leadership, relationship building and learning how to overcome challenges. I participate on multiple teams, usually fulfilling the role of captain. By being the captain I am responsible for delivering results on the court as well as acting as a role model for my teammates. I enjoy challenging not only myself but those around me to excel and I find working together as a team to achieve a goal is extremely rewarding. Due to my volunteerism and leadership at school I was recognized by the faculty as a “Champion”. Champions are seen as a student in good standing that demonstrates one or more Lambrick Park core attributes: Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Determination and Enthusiasm.
Vivian is a student at St. Michaels University School. Vivian intends to attend university to pursue a major in sociology or public policy. She wants to utilize her experience with the brain injury society in North America to change the status quo of the marginalized disabled community in China. Her goal is to become a human rights lawyer fighting for the rights of the disabled.
She founded and is the editor-in-chief of her school’s first visual art journal, SMart, which features artworks from both students and faculty artists. She is an advocate for nonpolarized civil discourse and is president of SMUS Talk Club which is a student lead Ted-talk style quarterly event. She is also co-president of the schools Model UN Club. Vivian was a call captain for Kate O’Connor, the youngest MLA of the BC Green Party. She has grown up with a brother with Down’s Syndrome and has been a volunteer at local disability societies in China where she logged over 400 volunteer hours. She founded Voices of Brain Injury forum and conducted 50+ interviews, organized workshops, and panels to enhance mutual understanding between various groups. She founded “The Diary” Coloring Book project, leading a team of 20 students from her school to create a meditative coloring diary for the brain injury community.
As a world traveller she grew up in China and has been receiving her education in Canada. Her cross-cultural background has made her a firm believer of cultural relativism and led her to the path of becoming interested in international relations. https://www.voicesofbraininjury.org/
Eleonora (Nora) Stoynova, a student from Mount Douglas Secondary School. Nora intends to pursue a Health Information Science Undergraduate degree at UVIC upon her graduation. It is her goal to utilize her degree to revolutionize the Canadian Health Care System to make it more accessible and efficient for citizens across the country.
Nora is the secretary of her Environmental Leadership class and the current leader of the One Planet Group. She was elected as the co-Prime Minister for the 2021 school year by the student body. As a co-Prime Minister, she encourages students to create and lead their own events. Nora also participates in the Model United Nations Club which has increased her experience and understanding of other countries.
Nora’s family is celebrating their 16th year living in Canada after immigrating from Bulgaria. In addition to all her activities through school, she also volunteers as a Bulgarian folklore dance instructor.
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.
Vivian Liang was the successful candidate in the competition for the Young Women in Public Affairs award. Her application went on to Zonta International District 8, where it was reviewed along with the winners from all clubs in the district. We are happy to announce that Vivian won again at district. Her application will now be forwarded to Zonta International where it will be reviewed beside the winners from all (31) districts. Congratulations, Vivian, and best of luck!
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