Zontians all over the world will celebrate the uncompromising spirit of Amelia Earhart throughout the month of January. As one of our most famous Zonta members, we commemorate her birthday on January 11. We still wonder what happened to Amelia Earhart. Did the Japanese capture her? Did she survive?

Perhaps we may never know for sure. What we do know is that Amelia Earhart is a heroine. Amelia is the embodiment of a real Zontian, demonstrating conviction, commitment, courage, and achievement. She was a leader, not a passive bystander.

She was strong, not a victim. She was not born into a rich family, as many other women pilots of her day, but was uplifted up by her own accomplishments. Her message is one of interpersonal strength, which demonstrates her belief that others are worthy of attention and affirmation as human beings. This is certainly a character strength that all of us in our own club’s exemplify as evidenced by the time, effort and financial investment we make in working toward the mission of Zonta International.

Many researchers believe the 21st century is the century of women. Research tells us that by empowering women locally and in developing countries can end poverty, starvation, and even war. There are many stories of extraordinary women fighting enormous odds to get an education, escape sex trafficking, relationship violence, and slavery. More and more women are taking on leadership roles. One of the ways Zonta is making a difference for women is in the presentation of 30 Amelia Earhart Fellowships. This prestigious international fellowship of $10,000 US is a challenge for the judging committee in choosing only 30 of the most promising women from among the field of many qualified applicants in the field of aerospace-sciences and engineering. This Fellowship is entirely funded by individual donations and donations by individual clubs. It does not come from our dues. This month we celebrate our courage, conviction, commitment, and kindness in memory of Amelia Earhart. Thank you for all you do in the name of Zonta.


Donna Ketchum-Colletta

Amelia Earhart co-chair

Zonta District 4

January 2019