Get to know the Z Club at MPH

When walking through the halls at MPH, it’s not uncommon to see collection bins outside the student lounge, posters adhered to the walls, or students manning tables in the Phoenix. Likely, this is the work of Z-Club, the community service club at MPH.

Sponsored by Zonta International, a worldwide service organization working to advance the status of girls and women, members of the Z-Club work year-round on a wide variety of initiatives. In the fall, the group sold candy-grams for Halloween, generating $500 for the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center. They also volunteered as models, raffle ticket sellers, and ushers at the Styles and Sweets for Scholars event, raising money for the Zonta Foundation of Syracuse.

This winter, boxes of Jell-O were collected to contribute to holiday meals for impoverished families as part of the Salvation Army’s Christmas Distribution. Z-Club members then volunteered at the Salvation Army to help with the distribution process. Candy-grams were on sale again for Valentine’s Day, but this time the funds went toward hosting a brunch for all female faculty and staff at MPH on International Women’s Day. Zonta International Z And Golden Z Club Chair, Candace Edward presented an inspirational talk about not only women’s achievements, but also the achievements of the MPH Z-Club members. “Although I represent Zonta International, I have been thrilled to be the liaison to the Zonta Club of Syracuse and the mentor to the Manlius Pebble Hill Z Club for the past ten years.  It gives me such pleasure each year to see how the Z Club members band together for the betterment of their community and worldwide supporting the mission of Zonta with empowering women and girls through service and advocacy,” says Edwards.

As spring approached, Z-Club members organized a drive in which soccer balls, jerseys, and other sporting equipment were collected to send to children in Haiti. Currently, the group is working with various women’s organizations for the Day of Girls on April 7th, putting together menstrual kits for women in Africa and organizing an effort to create birthing kits to send to rural women in Kenya.

Aside from the multitude of service projects, Z-Club members have participated in several other activities this year. Several members submitted entries to the Syracuse Federation Formers and the Syracuse Federation of Women’s Clubs national writing contest. In the poetry category, first place was awarded to Ella Pisciarino ’21, second place went to Stewie Falso ’18, and third place went to Ren Brown ’19.   In the short story category first place was awarded to Bianca Meléndez Martineau ’18, while Madeline Mafrici ’19 and Charlie Mann ’19 received second and third place respectively. As first place winners, both Ella and Bianca’s work will be submitted to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs nationals for their writing contest.

Most recently, in March, four members – Rebecca Church, Taylor Germain, Bianca Meléndez-Martineau, and Madeline Mafrici – were asked to go to the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women with the Zonta Club of Syracuse. There, they took a tour of the UN, ate in the Delegates’ Dining Room, listened in on a panel of speakers organized by UNICEF discussing child marriage and how we can strive to prevent it, and attended the Zonta International President’s Dinner, where they were given the opportunity to talk with the current and incoming Zonta International Presidents. “During this trip, we made many amazing connections that I am extremely excited to bring home to improve our Z-Club,” says junior Maddy Mafrici, “We met a group of high school girls from England that are part of a similar club and discussed collaborating on hosting our own ‘Commission on the Status of Women’ for our local community and other schools. We also met women from an organization named Marshall Direct Fund and discussed setting up a pen pal or Skype program with girls from Pakistan. And meeting Zonta representatives from Switzerland, Denmark, and Turkey and hearing about their programs was very inspirational.”

“Our advisors, Candace Edwards and Nichole Moles, see us as young individuals who can make a difference in our community,” says Maddy. “I will forever be grateful for the connections I’ve made through Z-Club – women working for UNICEF, Zonta International, foundations fighting for gender equality, and other passionate people striving to make a change.”