Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a program for young person’s that were officially adopted by Rotary International in 1971. Conducted at the 7890’s district level, RYLA offers our local clubs a special opportunity to take part in developing leadership qualities and good citizenship among our young adults. On June 9th the Rotary Club of New Britain-Berlin sponsored two New Britain High School sophomores, Ananda Thillet and Paolo Celentano, to attend a one-day leadership training event held at Springfield College in Springfield, MA.
Over 142 sophomore students from 47 different sponsoring Rotary Clubs throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts participated in this leadership training event. The students were divided into 12 groups and each student’s leadership qualities were noted by their instructors, peers and the RYLA Committee throughout the day. A motivational speaker, a Rotary roundtable seminar focused on the advantages of group efforts in accomplishing tasks and a Leaderships Ropes Course were also a part of the leadership training day camp.
A selection process took place whereby the students involved selected a candidate from each group who best displayed leadership characteristics within the group. The selected students will attend the World Affairs Seminar in June of next year in Wisconsin. Alternates of each group were also selected by their peers to replace those who cannot attend. The RYLA Committee of Rotary District 7890 absorbs all expenses for transportation, meals and admission to this week-long event where students from all over the world gather to discuss the good works of Rotary and global affairs.