Zonta Club of Cebu I recognizes top female scholars

During the 2020-2021 school year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zonta Club of Cebu I, Philippines, partnered with the Department of Education Region 7 to launch The Outstanding Public Public High School Graduates (TOP-HSG) project to help deserving female students pursue a college degree to pave the way for a better tomorrow that will impact society.

The project is open to public high school students who graduated with honors. Qualified applicants undergo a rigorous screening process using criteria and rubrics in the essay writing and interview by the club's selection committee. The winners would then receive about US$3650, a medal and a certificate of recognition from the club.

In its third year, the club plans to post the TOP-HSG award ceremony on social media and print media, annually held during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. They are determined to make this a sustainable project because they have seen the award's impact on their awardees' lives.

"I thank the club for this opportunity you have given me to be in a platform where I can share my aspirations in an atmosphere of empowered women," said one awardee. "You are an inspiration to all of us. You have uplifted us from where we are. We can see the difference you are making in our society, showing the world that even we, as young female students, can be empowered, too. Thank you for this honor and opportunity."

Due to the project's impact, the club has received numerous certificates of recognition and awards from the Department of Education and from schools previous awardees graduated from.