About RYLA – And Rotary

Rotary – What is it?

Rotary Logo300One hundred years ago a man named Paul Harris who lived in Chicago, Illinois met with several business friends to talk about mutual business problems. He felt that talking about matters that concerned each of them would prove beneficial not only to themselves but to the community at large. The men liked the idea of the weekly meetings and decided to “rotate” the meeting sites to their respective offices. Thus “Rotary”, one of the largest service organizations in the world was born. Today, more than one million men and women comprise over 26,000 clubs throughout the world. Measured in time and money, Rotary is the largest independent giving organization in the world. The large Rotary world is comprised of Districts. Our Rotary Districts are 5180 and 5190. Each club within our districts pays for and sponsors RYLA scholarships.


Rotary Youth Leadership Awakening

Students chosen to attend RYLA are awarded a complete scholarship reserved for men and women of high school age who are leaving their junior year and will be next year’s senior high class. The intent of the program is to prepare these students for leadership roles in their senior year and beyond. The International RYLA program was actually started by Rotarians in Australia in the early 1950s. gallery2-55It is the object of RYLA to bring the business, social, professional and educational leaders of the community and the nation together with the young leaders of the future to share with them ideas, techniques, philosophy and inspirational messages. RYLA scholarships are among the thousands of scholarships given each year by Rotarians worldwide. Through our exchange studies and scholarship programs, students can also visit other countries and attend schools and colleges that might not ordinarily be available to them. At Camp RYLA you will have the opportunty to learn more about yourself through the voices and eyes of people who have experienced life, people who can help you see things from a different viewpoint. You will learn not only from special speakers, volunteer Rotarians and non-Rotarians, but by interacting with other scholarship winners just like yourtself from high schools from northern California and Nevada.


How RYLA Scholarship Students are Selected

gallery2-52The RYLA program is open to all high school students completing their junior year. The selection of the students is very important to the success of the program. We are looking for students of all backgrounds that have demonstrated leadership potential and will benefit from an opportunity to attend a leadership camp. The interviewing process by each Rotary club should start no later than April 1. Students should contact their school counselor or local Rotarians to learn of the exact date for application.


Rotary International RYLA Policy

Rotary Youth Leadership Awakening (RYLA) is an intensive training program for community youth leaders. Young people chosen for their leadership potential attend an all-expenses-paid seminar, camp or workshop to discuss leadership skills and to learn those skills through practice.


RYLA’s Core Curriculum

Every RYLA includes the following topics:

  • Fundamentals of leadership
  • Ethics of positive leadership
  • Importance of communication skills in effective leadership
  • Problem solving and conflict management
  • Rotary’s purpose and service to the community
  • Building self confidence and self esteem
  • Elements of community and global citizenship

In addition to the core curriculum, Camp RYLA participants can expect to further develop their personal and leadership skills in the following areas:gallery2-53

  • Communication Skills: Participants will have the opportunity to:
    • Develop interpersonal skills
    • Communicate, listen and write more effectively
    • Engage in some form of public speaking in a warm, supportive environment
  • Personal Qualities: Participants will have the opportunity to:
    • Identify the various types of personalities
    • Help people get along with each other
    • Manage their own time more effectively
    • Avoid stressful situations
    • Plan for a healthier living
  • Leadership: Participants will have the opportunity to:
    • Identify the characteristics of effective leaders
    • Become aware of the various styles of leadership
    • Observe effective leaders in a meeting situation
  • Problem solving strategies: Participants will have the opportunity to:
    • Brainstorm and think creatively
    • Engage in practical problem solving and decision making
    • Use a problem solving model in a practical situation

Officially adopted by Rotary International in 1971, RYLA is one of the most significant and fastest growing programs of Rotary service. Each year thousands of young people take part in the program worldwide. the impact spreads further as the program influences other young people. RYLA programs often lead to the formation or strengthening of Rotaract and Interact clubs. RYLA aims to:

  • Demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth
  • Provide an effecive training experience for selected youth and potential leaders
  • Encourage leadership of youth by youth
  • Recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities