RYLA - 2015 - District 5240  Interview with a Student

RYLA stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. 

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a leadership development program run by Rotary. While participants can be any age, most events focus on secondary school students, university students, or young professionals. RYLA events are typically 3–10 days long and include presentations, activities, and workshops that cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Leadership fundamentals and ethics
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving and conflict management
  • Community and global citizenship
I recently attended the closing ceremony for this year's District 5240 event held in Ojai, California at Camp Ramadah.  My best friend's daughter, Sophia spent four days and I interviewed her.  (With her parents' permission) she comments on her experience.  
The weekend started on Thursday and there were over 230 students from all over the world (but most from District 5240) in attendance.
The keynote speaker was Deepa Willingham.  (She was also the closing speaker on Sunday). 
The schedule is pretty grueling with some activities starting at 6:30 am and ending at 11:00 pm at night.   The students are divided into teams.  Sophia was on the Orange Team.
Here's an example of one of the many team building activities.
The Camp publishes a newsletter called the Camp Chronicle.  Notice the Four Way Test!
It wasn't all work.  There were fun and games like the Zip line and the Climbing Wall.  There was even a talent show and we witnessed some of these individuals performing on Sunday.
Everyone gets a shirt.  This year - the shirt read:
My Mind is strong and I am capable.  
Watch me wield my power to make change and bring solace.
Know that my vision is important and that my legacy begins today.  
I share my strength with those who need it.
Whether you know me or those influenced by me,
today or tomorrow, I make a difference....
because I can.
I am sure that many of you have experienced RYLA as counselors, with your own children or  ????
After seeing how excited these youth were at the awards ceremony on Sunday, I think the Rotary EClub of One World needs to sponsor at least one student next year!   The cost for District 5240 was about $400 per student which covers all their expenses over the four days.
Here is the link to the RYLA District 5240 website.
Want to see what goes on at RYLA?  Here's a 10 minute promotional video of D5240 RYLA 2006.
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