Daphne Dupuis is the recipient of the 2020 Zonta Club of Sault Ste. Marie Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award. Daphne is currently a Grade 12 student at Superior Heights C&VS. She plans to pursue a career in either Mechanical Engineering or Pediatrics.
Daphne is quite involved in her school community as Student Council Co-President, Captain of the Cheerleading Team, Link Crew leader, Co-President of Student Senate and President of the Mental Health Advocacy Club. The Mental Health Advocacy Club was an initiative started by Daphne where she stated on her application that “we strategize to help students take better care of themselves, providing education on what mental health and wellness mean. In leading this club, I work to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in my school. Through grade-specific and school-wide activities, students learn about their mental health. I, too, have gained knowledge about finding balance in my life.”
In our community, Daphne volunteers with New Northern Mentality, Don8Life, Algoma Family Services Rebound North Youth Program and as a Highland Dance instructor. Daphne also recently attended the local Rotary Youth Leadership Conference.
The goal of the YWPA Award program is to encourage young women to participate in public affairs by recognizing a young woman’s commitment to the volunteer sector, evidence of volunteer leadership achievements and a dedication to the empowerment of women. Applicants are asked to reflect on their voluntary commitment to their school and their community and the problems limiting the empowerment of women in their own country and worldwide. The Zonta International YWPA Award program looks to the young women of today for the leaders of tomorrow.
When asked about her thoughts of the status of women in Canada, Daphne wrote in her application,
“In Canada, women are fortunate to live in a progressive country where women rights are mostly recognized. There is certainly room for improvement, however. As Canadians, we have had only one female Prime Minister and women in Canada earn approximately 13.3 % less pay per hour than men. Women are not always offered the same opportunities as men and I hope that by entering the STEM field I will play a role in inspiring other young girls to pursue their STEM dreams.”
Zonta is a global service organization of members working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. The Zonta Club of Sault Ste. Marie Area celebrated 40 years of service in the community in 2018. The club supports a number of local service projects including scholarships at local high schools as well as Sault College and Algoma University, Breton House, Women in Crisis, Breast Cancer Comfort pillows, Days for Girls hygiene kits, literacy and ovarian cancer awareness.