Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is an intensive leadership experience organized by Rotary clubs and districts where youth develop their skills as a leader while having fun and making connections.
RYLA is for high school students in grades nine and ten. They are recommended by their schools in the Fall/Winter, then some are selected by our Rotary Club for the award. In March those chosen are taken for a long-weekend residential leadership experience at a camp in Lake Placid, Florida.
Supervised by Rotarians and student graduates of RYLA and S4TL, they live in a dormitory-type setting, many experiencing their first time away from family. In addition to their leadership training, they learn about Rotary service projects they can participate in, how they are both similar AND different from their peers, skills they didn’t know they had, coping skills they will use for a lifetime, and become familiar with previous graduates of Rotary leadership experiences.
Our Rotary Club of Naples Bay develops relationships with counselors, teachers, and administrators at our partner schools. They identify good candidates for RYLA, which we then evaluate. When our Board decides how many students to support each year, we select the students to be given the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards for that year. There is no cost to the student, parent, or school. RCNB funds and transports the students for RYLA.
Ronald Westrom, Chair