Rotary Youth Leadership Academy to be held at WWU
|6/19/2013||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
The Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA), a unique hands-on experience in service leadership for high school students entering or exiting their sophomore year, will be held at William Woods University June 23-26.
“We are pleased to host RYLA each year,” said Dr. Sherry McCarthy, WWU vice president and academic dean and a Fulton Rotary Club member. “These high school leaders are the type of students we want to attract when they conduct their college search, and this gives great exposure to our campus.”
Originally established in Queensland, Australia, the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy promotes global community awareness and service through high, fair, ethical standards and through personal relationships. In 1971, the academy was officially adopted by Rotary International.
The Missouri RYLA Academy is the only Rotary International board-recognized multi-district RYLA in the world. It is sponsored by Missouri Rotary districts 6040, 6060 and 6080. Academy tuition is paid through student sponsorship by local Rotary clubs.
The Rotary clubs of Missouri annually sponsor 100 students from the state to participate in teambuilding and awareness activities, as well as service projects and self evaluation, to learn the ideals of service.
Each Rotary club may sponsor a student or two from their area. Students are typically recommended by schools’ guidance counselors and administrators or by members of the community. After the academy, students attend a local Rotary meeting to explain what they’ve learned and focus on doing future community service projects.
This year the Fulton Rotary Club chose to sponsor two students: New Bloomfield High School students Ashley and Brooke Kelley, twin daughters of Rotarian Patty Miller.
Students from all over Missouri are placed into 10 groups of 10 people. Over four days, students work with a curriculum based on creating and expanding knowledge of leadership and service.
RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship and personal growth, and aims to demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth, provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders, encourage leadership of youth by youth and recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their community.
“Our goal is to offer our participants a transformational experience. Although we want them to have a good time while at the academy, we are clear about this not being the primary reason we are together,” said Rachel Russell, director of programming for Missouri RYLA.
She added, “We hope they will enter their adult lives seeing service as a way of life that naturally emerges from a commitment of their hearts; see themselves as connected citizens of their communities, nation and world. We hope they take in the message, ‘It is not about me,’ and embrace the motto of Rotary International, ‘Service above Self.’”
The 2012 RYLA participants pose for a group photo on the steps of Dulany Auditorium.
2012 RYLA participants listen for instructions about the next project.
All RYLA “campers” participate in the ropes course as a way of team-building.