Zonta has a dedicated history of supporting women in education. Scholarships are awarded locally, regionally and via Zonta International.

    • The Amelia Earhart Fellowship – expands opportunities for women pursuing advanced studies in the typically male-dominated fields of aerospace engineering and space sciences. 30 – $10,000 fellowships are awarded each year.
    • The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship supports women pursuing undergraduate and master’s degrees in business management
    • The Women in Technology Scholarship encourages women to pursue education, career opportunities and leadership roles in technology and related fields.
    • The Young Women in Public Affairs Award recognizes young women, ages 16-19, who demonstrate superior leadership skills and a commitment to public service and civic causes and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life.

In addition to the above scholarships the Zonta Club of Melbourne also supports the following scholarships:

  • Zonta/Meehan Scholarship encourage women entrepreneurs to improve their business through weVENTURE’s programs and services distributed by Florida Tech Women’s Business Center.
  • Zonta/EDC Manufacturing Certification is for women to become proficient in foundational skills for the manufacturing industry administered through Eastern Florida State College.
  • Zonta/Yellow Dog Café Culinary Scholarship encourages women to pursue a career in culinary.
Zonta Scholarship supporting women in education
Zonta Scholarship supporting women in education

2024 Young Women In Public Affairs Award

Recognizing young women for their commitment to volunteerism, volunteer leadership achievements and dedication to empowering women worldwide.

Applications must be received by the applicant’s local Zonta club’s deadline. To locate a club near you and download an application, please visit:

The Young Women in Public Affairs Award is a Zonta International program funded by contributions to the Zonta Foundation for Women. Zonta International is a leading global organization of individuals working to build a better world for women and girls.

February 26, 2025

Zonta Club of Melbourne
or mail to: P.O. Box 417 Melbourne, FL 32902

2024 Young Women in Public Affairs Winner – EmilyQu

2024 Young Women in Public Affairs Award Winner – Emily Qu
Emily Qu is a high school senior passionate about leveraging a humanistic lens of data science for insights to effect positive policy reform. She graduated as valedictorian from her high school, was named her school’s Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award and was nominated for the prestigious Congressional Medal of Merit Award. Furthermore, she served as the 2023 Florida Girls State Lieutenant Governor, where she connected with young women across the state to explore the variety of passions in the public policy realm, passing 12 bills to the Florida legislative session.

From researching mental health curriculum and mental health literacy in her school district to analyzing topical corticosteroid addiction and withdrawal in eczema patients, Emily works towards finding innovative solutions to complex societal challenges, specifically passionate about public health issues. Working as operations director and deputy director of Minds Without Borders, a youth-led mental health 501(C)3 with chapters in 12 countries, 24 states, and 3500+ volunteers, her work focuses on providing students with accessible mental health resources. As such, she organized and executed a free public mental health panel open to students in her school district with 10 nonprofit vendors in attendance to provide support. She also independently authored a mental wellness e-book.

Moreover, in school, she is part of the speech and debate club, where she pitched and spearheaded the creation of the school’s informative speaking category, president of Mathcounts and Who We Play For, and senior manager of the Academic Team, among others.

In her community, Emily is the founder of StepForward Dreams for Dance, a nonprofit initiative dedicated to uplifting children in hospitals through donated dance costumes. In collaboration with three local dance studios, they received over 100 dance costumes that were then donated to children in long-term hospital care. She volunteered over 400 hours at her local hospital and is a volunteer English and math tutor for elementary school students.

Emily will continue her academic journey at Wharton College at the University of Pennsylvania, where she plans to concentrate in business analytics, business economics & public policy, and data science. She hopes to continue her community service and advocacy through educational policy reform while in college, continuing to connect students with the resources they deserve.

Emily won a $2,500 scholarship at the Club level and the Zonta International Scholarship of $5,000! We are so proud of you.

Amelia Earhart Fellowship – 2023 Winner
Ms. Trupti Mahendrakar completed her Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering with a focus on Astronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2019. During her undergraduate studies, she interned at the National Aerospace Laboratories in Bangalore, India, and Aptus Engineering Inc. Following that, she worked full-time as an Avionics Component Engineer at Delta Air Lines. Later, she earned a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2021.

She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering and works part-time as a Systems Engineer Intern at Collins Aerospace on the Iridium NXT program. As part of her research, she is developing generalized edge algorithms to detect components of non-cooperative spacecraft. These detections are then fed into an artificial potential field guidance algorithm to enable fully autonomous close-proximity operations with a distributed swarm system to detumble and de-orbit the non-cooperative spacecraft. This type of technology plays a significant role in performing on-orbit servicing and debris removal. Her research also involves hardware-in-the-loop testing to demonstrate and prove the concept of her algorithms.

Ms. Mahendrakar is a core member of Technetium Engineering, LLC, a researcher at the Autonomy lab and the NeTS lab, and she was also the student lab director of the ORION research lab at the Florida Institute of Technology. After completing her Ph.D., she plans to continue working on engineering solutions for on-orbit servicing, debris removal, and Space Domain Awareness.

In addition to her research, Ms. Mahendrakar enjoys mentoring middle school and high school students who are interested in the STEM field. She volunteers at schools as a science fair judge. She regularly enjoys running, exploring, and biking on Florida trails.

Trupti Mahendrakar - Amelia Earhart Fellowship - 2023 Winner