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Zonta International is a leading global organization of individuals working together to build a better world for women and girls.


Zonta International envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential.

In such a world, women have access to all resources and are represented in decision making positions on an equal basis with men.

In such a world, no woman lives in fear of violence.

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$6,000 in 2023 Pay it Forward Microgrants

The Zonta Club of Hilo presented $6,000 in microgrants for its 2023 “Pay It Forward” program.  The award program supports women entrepreneurs on Hawai‘i Island who are starting a new business or working to expand an existing business.

The 2023 microgrant recipients were Michelle Reynolds of Hawaii Detection Dogs LLC, Adrean Floro of Ho’onani Harvests LLC, and Jamie Robertson of Hana Lima Cleaning Services LLC.

Based in Volcano, Reynolds’ Hawaii Detection Dogs LLC trains and deploys sniffer dogs to detect both invasive species in order to mitigate their impacts to ecosystems and endangered species for research and conservation purposes. She currently works with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the Pohakuloa Training Area, and the State of Hawai‘i with detection of endangered seabirds. She will use the grant to develop her website, purchase a new kennel, and to purchase training aids for both nosework classes and training her own detection dogs.

Floro’s Ho’onani Harvests LLC is a family farming business in Hilo that focuses on agroforestry, mamaki and honey production, and beekeeping education. The grant will go towards renting machinery to expand the agroforestry part of the farm, purchasing more mamaki starter plants, and developing a website. She also plans to ‘pay it forward’ by providing a beekeeping mentoring scholarship to a financially disadvantaged woman who has the drive and passion to learn about beekeeping.

Robertson, based in Kailua-Kona, established Hana Lima Cleaning Services LLC in July of 2023. Hana Lima offers office cleaning as well as specialty cleaning services such as deep cleaning, move in/move outs, and post-construction cleaning. The grant money will go towards new equipment that will make her operations more efficient, cleaning supplies, and training.

“We received a record number of applications this year from all around the island. It’s inspiring to see so many female entrepreneurs doing innovative and important work in the community,” said Laurie Higashi, chair of Pay It Forward. “The Zonta Club of Hilo is proud to provide a financial boost to these three well-deserving women-owned businesses.”

“Pay It Forward” microgrants are funded annually through the charitable Zonta Club of Hilo Foundation, donations to which are tax-deductible.

$15,200 in 2023 Scholarships & Awards

“The Zonta Club of HIlo is thrilled to award over $15,000 in scholarships to 15 women in 2023,” said Nina Buchanan, Zonta Club of Hilo Scholarship Chair.  The top winners in public affairs, business, and STEM categories have been advanced to compete for additional scholarships and awards at the district and International levels of Zonta.

Young Women in Public Affairs Award

  • Claire Kildahl ($1,200)
  • Kaylee Yamada ($1,000)

Women’s Nursing Degree Scholarship – UHH

  • Sienna A.K. De Sa ($1,000)
  • Nina Nabor ($1,000)
  • Yurise Yamaguchi ($1,000)

Women’s Nursing Degree Scholarship – HCC

  • Carolyn Mathieson ($1,000)
  • Aubrey Song ($1,000)
  • Tyanna Arannaydo ($250)
  • Kayla Gray ($250)
  • Amanda Kroessig ($250)
  • Alana Paiva ($250).

Barbra An Pleadwell Scholarship

  • Tyler Dela Cruz ($2,500)
  • Pohakalaokeaolani Van Veen ($2,500)

Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

  • Zariah Rivera ($1,000)

Women in STEM Scholarship

  • Sofia Ferreia Coleman ($1,000)

Sofia Ferreira Colman of Paraguay attends the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, where she studies Marine Science.  Sofia was selected to receive the 2023 Zonta Club of Hilo Women in STEM Scholarship of $1,000.  After her application was advanced by our local club to compete internationally, Sofia was selected as one of 30 women representing 20 countries who were awarded the 2023 Zonta International Women in STEM Scholarship of $5,000.

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