Patty J. Barton Memorial
Scholarship 2024 Awarded to
Gina Podesto

Zonta Coos Bay Area Scholarships

The Patty J. Barton Memorial Scholarship was established by the Zonta Club in 2018 after Patty’s passing from breast cancer. The club continues to raise funds annually which are matched by Jon Barton, Patty’s husband. The PJB scholarships has been awarded for the fifth time. The Scholarship fund is administered by the Coos Bay Area Zonta Service Foundation. 

The Coos Bay Area Zonta Service Foundation is proud to announce that the fifth Patty J. Barton Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Gina Modesto of Brookings, Oregon. This is a $20,000 renewable award to be issued over qualifying terms as the requirements of performance are met.  Gina is studying for her Bachelor in Science – Nursing Degree. 

Gina completed the Nursing Program at the Curry Campus of Southwestern Oregon Community College this summer. She was very involved with the Student Government, focusing of supporting student needs including study groups, worksheets and basic food pantry supplies. 

Gina’s passion for nursing and connecting with her patients is well recognized by her peers and professors. 

We are proud to support Gina in her efforts to obtain a BSN – improving her knowledge and success as a nurse!

Laura Lee Blenz Engineering Scholarship


After a generous family donation to the Laura Lee Blenz scholarship fund, Zonta is pleased to announce Geneva Varga as the second recipient of the Laura Lee Blenz/Coos Bay Area Zonta Engineering Scholarship. This scholarship is named after long time Zonta Member Laura Lee Blenz who passed away at 101 years of age in May 2020.

In the 1930’s when Laura Lee was in high school, she would have liked to have become an engineer if that option was possible when she was in school. This scholarship fund was established as a memorial from her family and other donations in her honor after her death. $2,250 is amount of this year’s award which is automatically renewable for up to four years if the student is in good standing (minimum 3.0 GPA/at least half-time enrollment).

Geneva Varga is a graduate of Winter Lakes High School in Coquille. She was home schooled for her early education and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Geneva completed her associate degree at SWOCC before transferring to Oregon State University where she studies civil engineering. Her career goal is to become an environmental process engineer. Geneva’s suggestions for girls who wish to become engineers are to keep an open mind and be curious.

The first recipient of this scholarship was Payton Davidson in 2021, a Marshfield High School graduate and current student in civil engineering at George Fox University. Payton’s excellent grades will allow her to receive a second scholarship in 2022.

This scholarship is administered through the Oregon Community Foundation.

Geneva Varga 2022 awardee
Payton Davidson 2021 awardee

Zonta International Scholarships

Amelia Earhart Fellowship 

Apply directly to Zonta International

Globally, women make up around 25 percent of the workforce in the aerospace industry. In an effort to carry out its mission that women have access to all resources and are represented in decision-making positions on an equal basis with men, Zonta International offers the Amelia Earhart Fellowship. 

The Amelia Earhart Fellowship was established in 1938 in honor of famed pilot and Zontian, Amelia Earhart. The US$10,000 Fellowship is awarded annually to up to 35 women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and space sciences. It may be used at any university or college offering accredited post-graduate courses and degrees in these fields. 

Since the program’s inception in 1938, Zonta has awarded 1,638 Amelia Earhart Fellowships, totaling more than US$10.6 million, to 1,209 women representing 73 countries.

Our Fellows have gone on to become astronauts, aerospace engineers, astronomers, professors, geologists, business owners, heads of companies, even Secretary of the US Air Force.