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ROTARY PART 2: RYLA

Here we are again with the second look at our local Rotary Club! As noticed last week, “Service above self” is not merely a slogan, but it’s become a lifestyle with this club. After looking at the elementary school EarlyAct club last week, this week we will discuss their high school effort: InterAct.
Interact clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self.
The program connects youth with leaders in their communities and around the world to:
  • Take action to make a difference in their school and community
  • Discover new cultures and promote international understanding
  • Become a leader in their school and community
  • Have fun and make new friends from around the world.
Currently, our local Rotary InterAct club are at RYLA (their marquee event) being sharpened and empowered to return home to impact our communities.
RYLA in District 5330 is the largest over night RYLA in the Rotary world. With over 600 kids broken out over two weekends, we serve a two county area in southern California made up of parts of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Below are some quick facts:
The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a three-day Leadership Conference. It is a reward for outstanding youth to further develop their leadership skills. The event is sponsored by the 61 Rotary Clubs in District 5330 (San Bernardino & Riverside Counties) and combines learning in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Additionally, [the atmosphere is filled] with social and fun time to provide a fast paced and memorable leadership experience.
Over two weekends in March and April, RYLA will be held at the Thousand Pines camp, Crestline, California. The program features several outstanding leadership speakers Friday through Sunday. These presentations are followed by small group discussions with trained adult discussion leaders. Recreation activities are scheduled throughout the weekend, including sports, games and a Saturday carnival. Additionally, excellent food and snacks are also provided.
Approximately 600 High School Juniors selected from all public and private high schools within District 5330 will attend, along with 90 Rotarians and additional camp staff. After an application process which includes a short essay, they are selected based on leadership potential, personal values, intelligence, and potential for future success. From there, each student is interviewed by a interview panel of DHS Rotarians and students are selected to go to camp.
This year, Desert Hot Springs Rotary Club fundraised enough for 12 students to attend RYLA, Indian Wells Rotary Club donated funds to sponsor another 2 students and because we had 15 applicants and wanted to send them all…. Green Pearl Organics ( a local business) paid for the 15th student to attend!!!
“I love RYLA because it opens our eyes, as students and leaders, that while our skin color, religion, hair color or language may be different, we are all human. We have emotions, we make mistakes, but we have the power to make choices that will effect our future. If we all work towards the common solutions of peace and love, if we lend the helping hand and be a force of positivity, our world will be okay… I have learned to be comfortable in my own skin and I have also learned that our next generation just needs a little direction, encouragement and positive role models. – Breanna Sewell

 

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