It’s not to early to think about District 6760’s Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA), experience. It will be held 14-18 June 2016 at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. This is a five-day leadership course developed for incoming (Fall 2013) high school juniors and seniors (11th and 12th grades). It is indeed an honor to be selected for this award and it should be promoted in that manner. Participants should be screened competitively and selected based on merit and leadership potential. Each club can set their own parameters in this regard.
Award winners will stay in APSU residence halls and eat in their food service courts during their stay. A variety of exciting activities directed for this age group to enhance leadership traits and provide team-building experiences will be undertaken. There is a ceremony at the end of the program for the award recipients and their families on the last day. At that time, the participants will be formally presented their awards. Those selected for the program need only agree to stay for the entire period of time. The program will be more than adequately chaperoned and staffed by Rotarians from our District.
RYLA award winners selected by a club attend the program for a fee of $400.00 each. The tuition fee is to be paid by the sponsoring club. There is no expense to the participants other than transportation to and from the event and whatever spending money they elect to bring along for incidentals.
So where do you go to find qualified applicants for RYLA consideration? If you can find a “crusader” in the school to assist in the form of a principal, teacher, or staff person, more power to you. Otherwise, you need to take charge of this yourself and seek out the interested and qualified folks personally. Your local high schools are the obvious place. Current members of an Interact club may make great candidates.
Get the flyers out and look around your own club first. There is no restriction regarding relationship to a Rotarian for this event. Qualified children and grandchildren of Rotarians are eligible. Planning demands you get going soon as your RYLA selections need to be accomplished by April 30th and forwarded to the RYLA Committee to allow us to prepare as great an event as possible for these young people.
You may be reinforcing or even creating the core for a new or existing Interact Club in your community. Youth with a better understanding of Rotary may tend to seek it out later on as a way to serve their communities. Interest and participation in the Youth Scholarship Ambassadorial program may be generated in this group and further the Rotary goal of world peace through understanding. And, finally, this may be the definitive moment for a developing young person. They may choose to get involved in service to others through all the good things Rotary promotes worldwide. The message of “Service Above Self” is vital for this next generation.
It takes numbers of participants for an event such as this to be successful. Please commit to making as many RYLA awards as your budget will permit. Stretch a little and you will see a tremendous payoff in the end.
Questions/Forms /More Information:
Mr. Robert Huffman
Chair, District 6760 RYLA Committee
3925 Sango Rd
Clarksville, TN 37043