Zonta International helps women overcome gender barriers to careers in traditionally male-dominated fields through the Amelia Earhart Fellowships and additional scholarship programs.
Gender inequality in education, however, begins much earlier in life than PhD programs. That is why the Zonta Club of Anchorage started ZClubs at Dimond and East High Schools in 1968 when girls were not allowed to participate in afterschool activities. Our Dimond ZClub remain active today and have expanded to include male members.
Amelia Earhart Fellowship
Globally, women make up around 25 percent of the workforce in the aerospace industry. In an effort to carry out its mission that women have access to all resources and are represented in decision-making positions on an equal basis with men, Zonta International offers the Amelia Earhart Fellowship.
The Amelia Earhart Fellowship was established in 1938 in honor of famed pilot and Zontian, Amelia Earhart. The US$10,000 Fellowship is awarded annually to up to 35 women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and space sciences. It may be used at any university or college offering accredited post-graduate courses and degrees in these fields.
Since the program’s inception in 1938, Zonta has awarded 1,674 Amelia Earhart Fellowships, totaling more than US$11 million, to 1,245 women from 75 countries.
Our Fellows have gone on to become astronauts, aerospace engineers, astronomers, professors, geologists, business owners, heads of companies, even Secretary of the US Air Force.
Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award
The YWPA is award on a district level and the international level. District recipients receive $1,000, and international recipients are selected from the district/region recipients to receive awards of $4,000 each.
The progress of women in the last century has dramatically increased the opportunities available to women, yet women’s participation in positions of public influence continues to lag behind. Although women account for nearly 50 percent of the workforce, they hold on average just 25 percent of seats in the world’s national parliaments as of September 2021, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Zonta International believes young women are the key to women’s advancement in the field of public service. The Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Awards program recognizes young women for their demonstrated leadership skills and commitment to public service and civic causes and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life. Since the program’s inception, Zonta has given 679 awards (includes international awards) totaling $548,750 to 597 young women from 51 countries.
Gail Green Scholarship
Every year the Zonta Club of Anchorage awards $1000 to an active Z Clubber in Anchorage. Initially funded by what was remaining in Gail’s bank account, after her untimely, accidental death in a house fire. Zonta Club of Anchorage has awarded over $52,000 to meritorious Anchorage Z Club seniors since 1978.
Pearson College UWC
Started in 1974, Lester B. Pearson College is an internationally acclaimed two-year pre-university school with a student body of more than 200 students representing more than 100 nations. Their mission is to ‘make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future’ and they believe this transformative education for students who live and learn together helps in developing their critical thinking, conflict resolution and leadership skills.
One of 12 schools of their kind, UWC or originally known as United World Colleges, had an interesting start. Lester B. Pearson was the winner of the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize and was the driving force behind the creating of the school. Unfortunately, he died before the project was completed and the school was named in his honor.
The Zonta Club of Anchorage sponsors 12 students each year at Christmas time and provides little gifts and sweet treats to make the Holidays feel more special as they are far away from their families. We also donate to the Pearson College Foundation Scholarship Fund which provides much needed scholarship support for students who are selected based on their promise and potential.
Virginia Augestad Memorial Scholarship
The Zonta Yellow Rose Foundation 501(c)(3) was founded in 2007 as the charitable giving device for the Zonta Club of Anchorage, founded in 1961. This scholarship was instituted to honor Virginia Augestad, a charter member of the club, who passed away in late 2015. Her years of service and devotion to women locally and worldwide continues to be an inspiration to the club.
The Virginia Augestad Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a woman each year based on her own individual merit and is not necessarily tied to academic achievement. The scholarship is $1,500.00 and will be sent by the foundation to the technical school, vocational school, community college, or accredited college of the winner’s choice.