Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

After a long hiatus RYLA returned to District 7720 on April 5-7, 2024 at the beautiful 4-H Center in Columbia, NC. RYLA is Rotary’s Youth Leadership Award Program. This past weekend 24 high school juniors (24 in 2024) spent an intensive 48 hours learning leadership skills, planning service projects, and adopting Rotary’s philosophy of Service Above Self. We thank the Club’s that sponsored the delegates and we hope to have over 75 at next year’s event,” said  Andy Garlick, Youth Services Coordinator for District 7720 at the close of the RYLA session.

We especially want to thank our amazing facilitators: Ed & Heather Cross, as well as Coordinators: Tom McCluskey (Washington Noon) and Bobbie Garlick (New Bern Breakfast), and Counselors/Chaperones: Elvira Johnson (Goldsboro-Three Eagles), Lynda Lane (Washington Noon), Sarah Parker (Washington), and Brant Bills (New Bern Breakfast).”

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is an intensive leadership experience organized by Rotary Clubs and districts worldwide. It aims to equip young adults aged 14 to 30 with essential leadership skills while fostering camaraderie and fun.

  • Purpose: RYLA recognizes young leaders and provides them with an opportunity to expand their perceptions and ideals. Participants gain self-awareness, learn effective teamwork, and develop the qualities necessary for future leadership roles.
  • Dynamic Learning: RYLA events combine workshops, activities, and presentations. These sessions cover a wide range of topics, from communication and problem-solving to ethical business practices and community engagement.
  • Connectivity: RYLA connects participants with leaders from their local community and around the world. It’s a chance to build lasting friendships and professional networks.
  • Skill Development: Attendees discover strategies for becoming dynamic leaders in their schools, workplaces, and communities. They learn to turn motivation into action.
  • Inspiration: Inspirational speakers and community leaders share their experiences, motivating participants to make a difference.
  • Medical Outreach in Uganda: The Rotaract Club of Bugolobi collaborated with local doctors and schools. They provided medical screenings, dental exams, and HIV prevention education to over 1,000 residents in a nearby village.
  • West Coast Road Trip (United States): A 2,400-mile journey connected Rotary clubs with community organizations. Rotaractors engaged in diverse service activities, fostering connections and leaving a positive impact.
  • Empowering People with Down Syndrome (Turkey and Russia): Twelve Rotaract clubs joined forces to provide training for individuals with Down syndrome. Job placement assistance empowered participants to utilize their newfound skills effectively.
  • Clean Water in the Philippines: Rotaractors improved lives in a remote area by constructing rainwater storage tanks, promoting hygiene, and treating health issues. Their impact reached far beyond clean water availability.
  • Transforming Rural Lives (Sri Lanka): The Rotaract Club of the University of Moratuwa received recognition for its work in a rural community. Their efforts exemplified the spirit of service and transformed lives.

Nomination: RYLA participants are nominated by local Rotary Clubs. If you’re interested, reach out to your nearest Rotary club to learn about RYLA events in your area, application procedures, and any associated costs.