Hilo Zontians Launch ‘Magnificent Me’ to Empower Adolescent Girls

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The Zonta Club of Hilo is starting the Magnificent Me project, a three-year signature service project to expose adolescent girls to tools that can build confidence.

“We want to catch that pivot point as the world opens before them,” said Julie Tulang, Zonta Hilo’s service director. “Many paths will be open to them; armed with good life skills, they can make better choices.”

The first full day conference is set for late March 2019. Zonta Hilo will bring about 120 7th grade girls from East Hawai‘i (Honoka‘a to Ka‘ū) public schools into classrooms at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo for a suite of workshops that inspire a strong sense of self.


Workshops will range from empowering girls to dream and celebrating their unique qualities to fine-tuning communication skills.

Prominent professional women across industries will be keynote speakers woven into the day. As Magnificent Me develops over the three years, Zonta Hilo aims to incorporate girls into the planning and presentation of the workshops.

“We welcome Magnificent Me to UH-Hilo,” said Marcia Sakai, Ph.D., interim chancellor. “It is directly related to our purpose—to challenge students to reach their highest level of academic achievement by inspiring learning, discovery and creativity, inside and outside the classroom.”


Each school in the East Hawai‘i region will be allotted slots at the conference, based on population. Transportation from home schools to UHH will be provided, along with lunch and conference materials.

“We’re looking for those ‘diamonds in the rough,’ girls whose potential is not yet recognized, who will benefit from exposure to dynamic and powerful messages of opportunity,” said Tulang.

As our girls are bombarded with messages and unrealistic images of what’s successful or beautiful, Zonta provides a different narrative.


Zonta Club of Hilo is seeking partners whose missions intersect with this one to join in Magnificent Me, either as volunteers or through financial support.  “While the seed money is from Zonta Hilo, we are looking for sponsors to take Magnificent Me over the goal line,” Tulang said.

For more info or to become a sponsor, go online or email [email protected].

Magnificent Me is part of Zonta’s mission to empower women and girls worldwide. Zonta Hilo, founded in 1950, is one of four clubs in Hawai‘i. “Fashion Frenzy” is a biennial fundraising project of the Hilo group.

Zonta International has clubs in 63 countries across the world and envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential.

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