Each year, thousands of young people take part in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program worldwide.
High School Sophomores & Juniors are selected for their leadership abilities and experiences. Rotary Clubs conduct individual interviews and select award winners (delegates) to attend the four-day event. The Rotary clubs pay all expenses for the delegates weekend.
Those attending will reinforce their leadership abilities & skills, utilize new methods, learn about their inner selves through a well-rounded exciting,stimulating and busy program. Activities vary from swinging from trees to exploring your own personality while meeting new friends of all ages and backgrounds.
Rotary Youth Exchange students from around the world are in each group to share their culture, background and knowledge. Rotarians and invited presenters coordinate the day and evening sessions. This is an interactive experiential program with challenges,sharing and increasing individual knowledge.
Our RYLA weekend will give each delegate to expand their leadership capabilities. It encourages leadership of youth by youth. Delegates exceed their expectations through increased self confidence and group support. Delegates are leaders and followers and gain knowledge of how to apply their skills in each area.
This year the featured speaker was ASU coach and Olympic Gold Medalist Misty Hyman.
Olympic gold medalist Misty Hyman won a stunning upset victory at the 2000 Sydney games when she came from behind to break the American record and win the 200-meter butterfly. Recognized as a pioneer in the sport for her innovative underwater dolphin kick, she won 13 U.S. and five NCAA national titles.
Hyman is recognized as one of the most inspirational athletes of our time. Her knowledge of the sport, gained from two decades of competitive swimming for two of America’s top swim coaches, coupled with her friendly and encouraging personality, have made her one of the country’s leading swim instructors.
She is the Senior Assistant Coach for the Arizona State University swimming program and offers personalized and private coaching at The Sanctuary Resort in Paradise Valley, AZ. She also hosts clinics and camps throughout the United States. As a motivational speaker, Hyman helps athletes, students, and corporations alike set and reach seemingly unattainable goals.
Here is a video that recapped the 2016 experience and if you would like to join with the E-club of Arizona to support Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, consider making a financial gift to help us send more students. The costs for lodging, materials and food run about $400 per camper and many Rotarians donate their time and travel to support this amazing weekend.
As a part of the weekend experience the RYLA attendees help complete a service project. This year the they packed 42,552 meals for food banks in AZ to help alleviate hunger for families all across the state. We often can’t imagine someone going without meals in our country today, but it unfortunately happens. Rotary and RYLA students changed that outcome for a few weeks, and hopefully helped someone make the leap to self sufficiency as a result of our kindness. Consider what you can do today. We are always here to help make dreams become reality.