Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA)

Related Pages
Photo Albums

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA)

Each year, thousands of young people around the world take part in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program worldwide.

RYLA aims to:

  • Demonstrate Rotary's respect and concern for youth;
  • Provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders;
  • Encourage leadership of youth by youth; and

The Rotary Club of St. John's Northwest has sponsored RLYLA events in this province and, while we are not currently doing so this year, is reviewing the potential to do so again in the future.

At past events, young people from our high schools, chosen for their leadership potential, attended an all-expenses-paid 4-day retreat at Burry Heights on the Salmonier Line over the Easter holidays. They discussed leadership and learned those skills through practice. The highly interactive sessions included teambuilding, communications, personality development, entrepreneurship, meeting challenges, testing their limits and other activities designed to allow participants to safely "check out" their own limitations and aspirations in a supportive and inspirational environment. During one of the evening meals, our Club conducted a regular weekly Rotary meeting and had the participants take on the various roles that Rotarians take on every week. Additionally, during this time, we had a prominent Rotarian speak to the participants about Rotary and the exciting international and local projects in which we are involved.

Students participated from all over the province, after we promoted the program through provincial high schools. Applicants were required to complete a comprehensive application and obtain a recommendation of support from a teacher. Those chosen were responsible for finding their way to Burry Heights, and our Club then picked up the cost of accommodation, meals, facilitation, prizes, awards, and other costs of the event. We also encouraged Rotary Clubs in the province to support their youth leaders by supporting their travel to the event and then inviting them to club meeting to report on their experience.

The benefits of RYLA to the student participants were immeasurable and we have watched (and heard about) young people who, as a result of the interactions that occurred during RYLA, blossomed in so many ways during the experience.

Special thanks to Club member John Harnett for serving as our Project Coordinator for RYLA each year that it was held.

For more information on the International event, please check out the Rotary International Website.