Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley presented seven scholarships to women of all ages on June 7, encouraging education strides no matter what part of life a woman may be experiencing.
The first group of scholarships were the Virigina Wrage Memorial Scholarships that were presented to four women, age 40 and older. These women were described as having “faced a life-changing situation and need help to become self-sufficient again” in a news release.
The scholarship’s name is in memorial of a former Zonta member who began a career as a flight attendant in her 50s. She died of cancer, and the scholarship’s name was set shortly after.
The recipients were Arpy Esmarian, Angie Mata, Amber Yarbrough and Julie (whose last name was not provided).
The second group of scholarships were the Zonta Club’s Young Women in Public Affairs Award. Three young women were awarded with these scholarships: Shefali Breitbach, Ashmita Goel and Sana Meher, all recent graduates of West Ranch High School.
“We’re very proud to be able to offer that to them,” said Phyllis Walker, a spokeswoman for Zonta. “These young women are amazing. What they do is just amazing.”
“It was a delightful feeling,” said Meher. “I personally did not think I would get chosen, but I was happy to see that I was, and then it also gave me the opportunity to learn more about Zonta and what specifically they do.”
This award was created to encourage young women from 16 to 19 years old to take an interest in public affairs and pursue a career in a related field.
Meher applied for the scholarship as she aspires to one day become a U.S. surgeon general after graduating from the college she’s headed to in the fall, University of California, Los Angeles.
“I thought that I have a lot of volunteering experiences,” said Meher, “and even though I’m not like directly involved in the government, I’m involved in things that, you know, are related to government. For example, I do Model U.N., which is based off of the United Nations, which is an intergovernmental organization. I also did debate, which the kinds of discussions that happen in debate tournaments are very similar to the kinds of discussions they are having in our government, as well as governments worldwide.”
She expressed her gratitude for there being a scholarship specifically for women.
“I feel like having a scholarship that promotes women, being involved in these activities is a great way to make sure that there’s lots more women getting involved in these male-dominated fields,” said Meher.