For her work as an author, physician, health educator, speaker, youth empowerment specialist and community leader who is known both locally and internationally, Dr. Jasmine Zapata was awarded The Business Forum’s 2018 ATHENA Young Professional Award at the Madison Club on Nov. 1. This award actively celebrates the ATHENA mission of supporting, developing and honoring women leaders, inspiring women to achieve their full potential, and creating balance in leadership worldwide.
Thirteen women were nominated for the award that is presented annually to women under the age of 40. At the 11th annual ATHENA Young Professional Award luncheon, The Business Forum President Katherine Bidwell announced Dr. Zapata, 32, as the 2018 ATHENA Young Professional recipient to the delight of the crowd.
Dr. Zapata was nominated by Nia Enemuoh-Trammell and 2017 ATHENA recipient, Corinda Rainey-Moore. Dr. Zapata is a board certified pediatrician as well as a preventative medicine/public health doctor. Her research and community work focuses on racial disparities in infant mortality, upstream determinants of health, youth resilience, and public heath approached to violence prevention, and innovative methods of community engagement and health promotion.
“It was a tremendous honor receiving the award. I was in shock when they called my name,” Zapata tells Madison365. “At first, I couldn’t bring myself to walk up on stage because I felt there were so many other amazing, incredibly talented, and deserving women … but then my mom, Nia, and Corinda all gave me the biggest hugs and told me to go up there and receive it. Having those three there just meant so much to me because I felt so loved and supported. They have done so much for our community and have inspired me so much. To have them holding me up so that I can in turn continue to move the work forward was an incredible feeling.”
Dr. Zapata has combined her passion for medicine and women’s empowerment through her involvement in Beyond Beautiful International, where she is the founder and serves as a youth empowerment coach serving girls across the United States and even abroad through her workshops, video series, and books. Zapata is the co-author of the book “She Conquered” and most recently authored “Beyond Beautiful: A Girl’s Guide to Unlocking the Power of Inner Beauty, Self-Esteem, Resilience and Courage.” Beyond Beautiful has been translated into both Swahili and Korean.
“The love and support in the room was incredible. I’m still speechless,” Zapata tells Madison365. “This was also so special to me because this time of year is always hard for me. November 2007 is when my baby brother died and much of the work I do is in his honor, especially all the youth empowerment work. So to receive this on Nov 1st was really special. It just confirms that what I’m doing is needed. This award got me pumped up for 2019 and all the future has in store. I’m ready. Lots of work to do but I’m ready to move full steam ahead.”
The ATHENA Young Professional Award honors emerging leaders who strive toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment, who excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and serve as a role model for young women. Other nominees for this year’s award included Danessa Bishop, Hilary Carroll, Abigail Churchill, Amanda Gausewitz, Janelle Higgins, Carolyn Jahnke, Rebecca Lovell, Arvina Martin, Jenny Meicher Santek, De’Kendra Stamps, Jody Stolldorf, and Annabelle Vang.