What is RYLA?
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is an intensive training program that brings together youth and young adults, ages 15-17, to further develop character and leadership skills and learn about Rotary. RYLAs often take the form of a seminar, camp, or workshop, generally 3-10 days in length, organized by Rotarians at the club, district, or multidistrict level.
Participants are nominated by local Rotary clubs, which often cover all expenses. For these young adults, this recognition offers the opportunity to build self-confidence, gain exposure to a variety of issues and people, meet active community leaders, and learn valuable information and career skills.
RYLA gives Rotarians the opportunity to mentor promising young leaders serving their own communities and beyond. Rotarians serve as resources for participants on the path to becoming professional and community leaders. In turn, RYLA can bring new energy to a Rotary district, inspire ideas for service, increase support of community service projects, and develop future Rotarians.
Originating in 1959 in Queensland, Australia, RYLA was created as a festival highlighting local youth organized in honor of a royal visit by Princess Victoria. Through Rotarians’ constant belief in the potential of youth, RYLA has since become an opportunity to help the next generation of leaders define themselves and expand their skills. Officially adopted by Rotary International (RI) in 1971, this exciting program engages Rotary clubs and districts around the world.
Each RYLA shares the following program objectives:
• To demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth
• To encourage and assist young people in responsible and effective voluntary youth leadership by providing them with a valuable training experience
• To foster continued and stronger leadership of youth by youth
• To publicly recognize the many young people who are rendering service to their communities as youth leaders
District 6900 RYLA
Rotary District 6900 has sponsored the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) since 1996. With the exception of 3 years in Carrollton, RYLA has been hosted by the Rotary Club of Americus for that entire time - over 20 years and still going strong!
District 6900 RYLA Chair