Rotary – What is it?

One hundred and seventeen years, in 1905, 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.

How RYLA Scholarship Participants are Selected

The RYLA program is open to all high school juniors and seniors. Participant selection is very important to the success of the program. We are looking for juniors and seniors of all backgrounds that have demonstrated leadership potential and will benefit from an opportunity to attend RYLA. The interviewing process by each Rotary club should start no later than March 1st. Interested juniors and seniors should contact their school counselor or local Rotarians to learn of the exact date for application.

Officially adopted by Rotary International in 1971, RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awakening) 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 Effective 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


WEEK 1 JUNE 16 – 21
WEEK 2 JUNE 23 – 28