Scholarships and Awards for Women

Zonta is dedicated to achieving gender equality in education and supports scholarships, fellowships and awards for women and girls pursuing education and careers in these traditionally male-dominated fields.

Zonta Hamilton 1 logo with tagline

The Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 offers the following awards to students in our area. For more information, please contact our awards chair at [email protected].

Young Women in Public Affairs

The goal of the YWPA award is to encourage women students to enter careers in public affairs, public policy, and community organizations. The award recognizes the commitment of women students, aged 16 to 19 years, to serve their communities and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life.

This award is granted annually by the Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 to a student living or studying in the Hamilton area and attending high school, college or university.

Value of award: $1000.00
Application Deadline : March 1st of each year

Applications are now closed for 2023. The applications for 2024 will be available here in the fall of 2023.

2022 YWPA Winner from Guelph, Canada


Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

The Jane M. Klausman Scholarship works to support women who demonstrate outstanding potential in business-related fields, are living or studying in the Hamilton area and are enrolled in at least their second year and up to a masters of a business-related degree programme.

Value of award: $1,000
Application deadline date: June 1st

Applications are closed for this year.

The local club award winner is submitted to Zonta District 4. The committee chooses their winner from the club awards submitted, and that winner receives $5000 USD from Zonta International, once verified.

2022 JMK International Scholars from Canada

The Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 Graduating Student Award

In November 2019, in celebration of Zonta’s Centennial Anniversary and the naming of Dr. Beverly Jacobs as the Canadian Zonta Centennial Award winner, the Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 approved the establishment of an award of $250 geared towards a female, for an Indigenous graduating student from Bernie Custis Secondary School.

Value: $250


Women in STEM Scholarship

Women of any age and nationality, pursuing a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) degree program at an accredited university/college/institute, who demonstrate outstanding potential in the field and are living or studying in the Hamilton area are eligible.

Online students are also eligible to apply if enrolled at an accredited university, college or institute.

Students must be enrolled in at least the second year of an undergraduate program through the final year of a master’s program at the time the application is submitted to our Zonta club. Applicants must be in school at the time the scholarship funds are disbursed and must not graduate before April 2024.

Value: $1,000.00
Application Deadline June 1, 2023

Applications are clodsed for this year.

The local club award winner then becomes a candidate for the District 4 award. The District Awards Committee chooses one club application, and that candidate will receive $5000USD from Zonta International (once verified by ZI).


The Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 and some of its members have also funded many awards and bursaries that are awarded by organizations and schools in our area.

McMaster University offers the following awards.

The Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 Frances Colter Memorial Bursary

Established in 2016 by members of the Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 in memory and recognition of dedicated member and supporter of our club, Fran Colter, who was a pioneer in the field of physiotherapy at Chedoke Hospital, Hamilton. To be awarded by the School of Graduate studies to students enrolled in the School of Rehabilitation Science Physiotherapy program who demonstrate financial need. Preference to be given to female students. Value of the award is approximately $2000 annually.

The Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 MBA Bursary

Established in 2006 by the members of the Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 to acknowledge the bequest from Muriel Stewart, her life and career in business, and honouring the lives of fellow Zontians, their careers, and their support to the Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 and its objectives.  To be granted annually  to a female student enrolled in the MBA program, who demonstrates financial need.

 The value of the bursary is approximately $1,000.

The Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 Bursaries

($60,000 donation matched by Ontario Government)

Established in 1997 by the Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 in support of the McMaster Student Opportunity Fund initiative which provides financial support in perpetuity in the name of the Zonta Club of Hamilton l. We believe that all students, particularly women in non-traditional fields, should have the opportunity to pursue their educational goals.

These bursaries are granted annually to students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled in the Faculty of Engineering, or in Business or are enrolled in a course in Indigenous Studies. Preference will be given to female students.

Value of awards: Bursaries are granted by the University Bursary Selection Committee on the basis of demonstrated financial need. They are intended to supplement resources when the student’s own financial contribution, parental assistance and government aid leave the student with insufficient funds to complete the academic year.

The Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 Bursaries trust fund grants funding to approximately five student recipients annually.

Mohawk College chooses three or four recipients each year.

Mohawk College – The Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 Awards

($40,000 donation matched by Ontario Government)

Established in 1998 by the Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 in support of Mohawk College’s Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund which provides financial support in perpetuity.

These awards are granted to students demonstrating financial need, with a minimum 80% average. Preference is given to students showing active involvement in community and consideration to others.

Olga Cloke Bursary at the YWCA

The bursary was established by Olga’s family on her 75th birthday in 1977. Upon her death in 1994, the YWCA established an endowment fund with contributions from the Cloke family and the Zonta Club of Hamilton 1. Olga is a past President of our Club, past Governor of District 4 and she also held International positions in Zonta. Olga was past chair of the YWCA Building Campaign as well as past District Commissioner of the Hamilton Girl Guide Association.
The 2019 Olga Cloke Bursary was not awarded by the YWCA in June of 2019. The YWCA decided to make this bursary part of the Totally Awesome Young Women’s Breakfast celebration in May 2020. The event itself was cancelled due to COVID-19 but there were several applications and they will be evaluated, and the winner will receive $750 in June 2020.

Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 Crown Ward Bursary Fund at the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton

The Zonta Club of Hamilton 1, with a generous bequest from Helen Orban, established the Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 Crown Ward Bursary Fund at The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton. Bursaries will be awarded on an annual basis, as determined by the Crown Ward Bursary Selection Committee, in the amount of $1,000 to a female student at the agency’s Annual General Meeting held in June.

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 30 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 1,704 Amelia Earhart Fellowships, totaling more than US$11.3 million, to 1,275 women from 76 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.

For more information about qualifications, and how to apply please click here.