I am SOOO looking forward to International Conventions where I know we will meet amazing leaders of the future.
What I find interesting about these young women, is at such a tender young age they are working out how they can contribute to the world. These gals live their lives at top speed. They want to achieve goals, that benefit not just themselves but their whole world. A YWPA winner wants to study medicine - not to become a wealthy doctor, but to donate time to children in Nepal. Or the JMK winner who is studying law, not to drive a Mercedes Benz, she wants to specialise in international human rights and support the women lawyers of Afghanistan!
When I was that age, I was just scraping through and thinking about my next chocolate bar. sigh ....
For my non-Zonta readers: YWPA = Young Women in Public Affairs Award, and JMK = Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
The YWPA award recognises young women (typically in high school) "for their demonstrated leadership skills, and commitment to public service and civil causes".
The JMK scholarship supports women in pursueing "undergraduate and master's degrees in business management and overcome gender barriers from the classroom to the boardroom".
Go now - via those links and learn more about these programs.
LEADERS IN AUSTRALIA
Allow me to introduce you to the District 24 winners we met at our recent District Conference. These are the ladies who bring hope in the world and they are not mediocre.
Our JMK winner is Kate Buchanan
Kate is working on her Bachelor of Commerce, and is working in Accounting. In a delightful and respectful touch, Kate told all of us the JMK history! And then she told us of how she has set up her own book keeping business. Which is WAY cool - hasn't even finished Uni but already running her own business.
At this point I am missing a lot of notes. Cause then Kate's story took an interesting twist that stopped me from typing. So now, let's take this young woman - quietly studying and paying her own way in this world and do a 'Scooby Doo wibbly wobbly go back in time' thing. Let's have a look at where Kate grew up and THEN think about her achievements.
Kate explained how she grew up in a small country town, 6 hours from Sydney. The No. 1 past time in this town was alcohol consumption. Her friends drank, her parents drank - and of course the there were the consequences. Her parents divorced, and her friends all fell pregnant as teenagers.
Kate was determined to break this cycle in her own life, and she set off alone for Sydney, CREATED work for herself (if I remember correctly there was the "working several part time jobs to get enough money to get by" thing happening) and now at the young young young age of 22 or 23 she is nearing the end of her degree, she is working professionally, and supporting herself!
One of her friends back in country town has just given birth to her 4th child.
Can you see how far Kate has travelled? The cultural and family bonds she has broken through to discover and create a different life for herself? What a courageous and wonderful young woman. I hope Kate lives with the confidence of knowing all Zontians have encouragement and support for her.
Next time ... we'll meet Abi Rajkumar - our YWPA winner!
What story do you have about your Zonta International Awards Winner?? Feel free to share them here on Mrs. Banks