Student wins Zonta award

Zonta Club of Mitchell vice-president Lynne Groves, left, and Wallan Secondary College assistant principal Julie Parker present year 10 student Summer Hana with her award.

A NEW laptop donated by the Zonta Club of Mitchell will make schoolwork easier for Wallan Secondary College year 10 student Summer Hanna after she was recognised with an award from the club.

Zonta is an international organisation dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls, and the Mitchell chapter this year decided to present an award encouraging young girls to keep learning.

As part of the inaugural Zonta Club of Mitchell Award, Summer received a new laptop and wireless internet access, both paid for by the club.

Zonta Club of Mitchell president Janice Stanton said fostering education in girls and women led to better outcomes within communities.

“Our club really advocates for helping young women get to where they need to be,” she said.

“We’ll continue to provide awards across the shire as we’re able to raise funds.

“For our first one we decided to go with [a student in] year 10 because they’re beginning their journey through VCE, and our hope was that it would go to a girl who was more than likely going to finish her schooling, whether it be through VCAL or VCE.”

Ms Stanton said Summer was selected as the winner of the award for showing resilience in the face of adversity.

“It didn’t necessarily have to be the most academic person in the school, because we figure nine times out of 10 those students are catered for and do receive recognition, whereas the students who have had some adversity in their lives might not get that as much,” she said.

“When I rang the school, as soon as I said what it was for – someone who had shown resiliency, was mindful of her studies and had a vision to complete her studies – she came to mind immediately. The year 10 coordinator said ‘I have exactly the person’.

“Summer was selected, and through COVID especially she had helped her family.

“I believe she has four siblings and had helped with their home schooling, while at the same time she was keeping up with her own studies as a year 10 student. That’s a big ask.”

Wallan Secondary College executive assistant Lauren Mozina said the school community was proud of Summer.

“We just want to congratulate Summer and wish her well. She was so thrilled with it – she was absolutely honoured to be chosen,” Ms Mozina said.

“I think she’s going to go onto bigger and better things. It’s amazing how something so small can make such a difference.”

Ms Stanton said people were interested in joining the Zonta Club of Mitchell or supporting its efforts could email zontaclubmitchell@gmail.com or visit facebook.com/zontaclubofmitchell.

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