There are many ways how Rotary’s RYLA program differentiates itself from other traditional leadership programs. The strongest of which is the involvement of our RYLA Alumni in the ongoing evolution of the RYLA program and the development of tomorrow’s leaders. It is our Alumni’s drive, energy, and commitment to continually invest their own time in growing the RYLA program and putting their leadership skills into action that inspires all that touch RYLA.
One of the biggest challenges we as organizers face is to determine how we can measure the impact of RYLA. We can best do this simply by following the ongoing journey of our Alumni as they use their RYLA experiences and take on new challenges in personal leadership skill development, creating or participating in community service projects, exploring new territories, ongoing personal discovery, or simply seeing things differently than they had before.
Stay in touch, get involved, and let us know what RYLA means to you as you put your RYLA experience into action.
What RYLA Alumni Can Do for RYLA
Our RYLA Alumni play a vital role in the development and growth of RYLA in District 7950. RYLA Alumni approached our RYLA leadership in the summer of 2010 and asked to get more involved, to learn how we put on the RYLA Conference and to expand their skills beyond the roles they had held before.
These alumni urged us to create Student Director roles within the RYLA Committee. These Student Directors meet weekly (virtually and in person) with RYLA leadership and assist in promoting RYLA to our communities, lead fundraising efforts, develop programs for training our Student Leaders, and take ownership of key RYLA planning responsibilities. They are major contributors to our program’s success.
RYLA Conference Roles:
- Student Leader – high school junior and senior Alumni design the RYLA Conference program and serve as family leaders at the Conference. Meeting regularly with the RYLA Committee in the months leading up to RYLA, Student Leaders continue to work on their leadership skills and explore new avenues to become involved in Community Service. Our Student Leaders are the both the architects and designers of the RYLA Conference curriculum.
- RYLA Agents – Student Alumni of all ages serve as Organizing Committee members, taking on more detailed logistics and project execution responsibilities. They are key members of the team that runs the RYLA Conference.
- Facilitators – Alumni of all ages return to RYLA to facilitate a number of our events and training sessions. These alumni leverage their past RYLA experiences to bring energy to their sessions to inspire tomorrow’s leaders.
Beyond the RYLA Conference:
RYLA Alumni insisted on expanding the RYLA program beyond the RYLA Conference into a year-long program where RYLA Alumni and other Rotary youth organization members can continue to develop their leadership skills and relationships with their host Rotary Clubs and their own communities. Our RYLA Alumni have been nearly unanimous in calling for more opportunities to put what they have learned at RYLA into practice.
2011 marks the first year that we are planning the extended programming. RYLA Alumni have committed to put their leadership skills into practice through work with Rotarians and members of all of our youth programs (Interact, Rotaract, and Rotary Youth Exchange) to create the following:
- Leadership Seminars – personal and team skill development opportunities for District youth
- Service Networking – working with Rotary clubs and other Service Organizations to learn about and assist them with their community service efforts
- Community Service Projects – creating student-led service projects within their communities
- Youth Fundraisers – events designed to fund these student-led initiatives
- Youth Promotions – creating newsletters and online content promoting their programs
- Alumni Events – celebrating their efforts and connecting with others with similar commitments to leadership development and community service
Are you a RYLA Alumnus who wants to get involved? Please contact us at email@example.com.