Local Projects

Zonta Scholar Program

The Zonta Scholar Program provides an award to a non-traditional woman student (age 25 or
older) seeking a degree at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. In cooperation with the KPWE Program at UCCS, a strong mentoring component provides encouragement and support. The combination produces graduation rates above 85%, compared to the average of 23% for non-traditional students without support.

Young Women in Public Affairs Award (YWPA)

Each year an award of $2,000 is made to encourage young women to participate in public and political life by recognizing a commitment to the volunteer sector, evidence of volunteer leadership achievements and a dedication to the advancement of the status of women. Applications are accepted from young women in local high schools and the recipient is chosen through a competitive process. The local winner becomes eligible for an additional $1,000 award from Zonta District 12 (composed of several states) and ultimately for a $3,000 prize from Zonta International.

TESSA – A Community Without Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

TESSA is the primary agency dedicated specifically and solely to the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault in El Paso and Teller Counties in Colorado. Programs include victim advocacy, safehousing, a crisis line, children’s programming and counseling as well as training and education.

Zonta partners with TESSA to provide funding for ongoing operations as well as specific new program initiatives. A life skills curriculum has been developed with Zonta assistance to provide women at the safehouse with needed resources for living safe and independent lives.

Women’s Resource Agency

The Women’s Resource Agency is a non-profit organization aimed at helping women attain and maintain self-sufficiency. Their individualized services are designed to help women identify and expand on their existing knowledge, talents, skills and strengths usually with an end of economic independence.

Zonta’s support has gone to programs such as InterCept, a WRA effort to empower young women to develop the skills and courage to make healthy life choices. InterCept does this by encouraging young women to realize their value so that they create positive life change that reaches their peers and community.

Dress for Success is another WRA program that Zonta has supported with funding and volunteer staffing. This program helps women make a tailored transition into the workforce. Each client is treated to an appointment with a personal shopper during which she selects an appropriate interview suit.

Human Trafficking

The issue of modern-day slavery is of great concern to Zontians around the world. Locally Zonta has sponsored, in cooperation with Youth with a Mission, a seminar on human trafficking open to the public and members of the human services and law enforcement communities. Out of that effort a local task force is being formed which Zonta intends to support with funding and volunteer assistance.

Zonta Wings!

An Escape to Safety and Support
Girls are being rescued regularly from the commercial sex trade. These young women have experienced a demoralizing combination of abuse, neglect, poverty, addiction and violence making them easy prey for recruitment by sex traffickers. Often the only way out of the trade is removal from the people and places where they were held captive.
Who is in Danger
“Child sexual exploitation is the most hidden form of child abuse in the United States and North America today. It is the nation’s least recognized epidemic” according to Dr. Richard J. Estes, University of Pennsylvania. In a frequently-cited study titled “The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the U.S., Canada and Mexico” Estes and Weiner estimate that 325,000 are at high risk for recruitment into the commercial sex industry based on a conflation of predicative risk factors such as sexual abuse, homelessness, and involvement in the foster care system.
Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado
Formed in 2008, the Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado is composed of concerned citizens and representatives from local authorities and agencies working together to address the needs of victims, raise awareness and put an end to modern-day slavery.
A Missing Link
One gap in services to victims is that of transportation. Often a rescued victim is in danger of being re-recruited through physical and/or emotional coercion if she remains in the local community. Neither federal agencies (FBI) or local authorities (human services, police) have funding available to move victims. That’s where the new ZONTA WINGS Program comes in. In conjunction with the Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado, Zonta Wings will meet that need for emergency transportation.

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