Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award

Zonta International believes that young women are the key to women’s advancement in the field of public service. It offers the Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award, which recognizes young women, ages 16-19, for demonstrating leadership skills and commitment to public service and civic causes and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life.

Established in 1990, since then Zonta has given 1013 awards and US$1,207,250, to 851 young women from 58 countries (to 2021).

The program operates at the Zonta club, district/regional and international levels. Zonta clubs provide awards for club recipients, and district/regional and international awards are funded by the Zonta Foundation for Women. District recipients receive US$1,500, and 10 international recipients are selected from the district/regional recipients to receive awards of US$5,000 each.


Women, aged 16-19 on 1 April each year, studying at a secondary school, college, or university in a Zonta district/region, or who are studying elsewhere but are citizens of a Zonta country, who demonstrate evidence of the following, are eligible to apply. 

  • Active commitment to volunteerism.
  • Experience in local government, student government, or workplace leadership (paid or unpaid).
  • Volunteer leadership achievements.
  • Knowledge of Zonta International and its programs.
  • Support in Zonta International’s mission of empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.

Z and Golden Z club members are also eligible to apply and are encouraged to do so.

Application Process:

The application process must start with a Zonta club. All application materials must be received at a Zonta club by the deadline printed on the application. An application downloaded from the Zonta International website must go through a local Zona Club. Use the Contact Us button on the home page and we will respond to you within 24 hours.

Available to young women, ages 16-19, members of Z Club are encouraged to apply for this award.

Past Winners:

2023 Mackenzie Butler – Darfield High School

2022 Carmen Holdaway – Riccarton High School, plus District 16 Winner

2020 Katherine Hadler – Darfield High School

Other Zonta International Awards & Scholarships:

  • Amelia Earhart Fellowship

Zonta annually awards up to 35 Fellowships of US$10,000 each to women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and space sciences. 

  • Women in Business Scholarship

Zonta helps women pursuing undergraduate and master’s degrees in business management with 32 scholarships of US$2,000 each and an additional six scholarships of US$8,000 each annually.  SEE POSTS FOR THIS YEARS SCHOLARSHIP INFO

Past Winner:

2023 Lauren Thomas

  • Women in Technology Scholarship

Zonta encourages women to pursue education, career opportunities and leadership roles in technology in a new pilot program introduced in 2019.

Please contact our Club or go to the Zonta International website to get more information

Zonta Canterbury Tertiary Education Scholarship

This scholarship is given by the Zonta Canterbury Tertiary Education Trust which is made up of Trustees of the four Canterbury Zonta clubs. It was established in 1990 by the Zonta Clubs of Christchurch to assist Canterbury women undertaking a course of tertiary study. Preference is given to women students over 30, in need of financial assistance.

The current value of the Scholarship is up to $3000 per annum to support tertiary study. The tenure of the Scholarship may be for a period of up to three years (subject to proven academic achievement being reached each year), including this year.