RYLA Changes Lives
On December 15th, our own James Fox updated us on what’s happening with RYLA in 2022.  James has been a key leader as co-director of District 5040's RYLA South program for 8 years.  He will take on an even bigger leadership role as RYLA Chair for the District in 2022.
RYLA stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and is a cornerstone leadership development program of Rotary International.  RYLA gathers young leaders ages 14-30 in a supportive environment to develop and inspire growth and leadership skills for positive community change.
RYLA's goals are to promote:
  • Understanding and approaching ethical thinking
  • Problem solving and conflict management
  • Individual professional development and growth 
  • Identifying internal biases and practicing humility
  • Recognizing and facilitating different communication and leadership styes
  • Effective team building and improving team performance
  • Designing community projects to tackle root issues instead of symptoms
  • Making new friends
  • Meeting community leaders and mentors.
Depending on community needs, RYLA may take the form of a one-day seminar, a three-day retreat, or a week-long camp and include presentations, activities, and workshops covering a variety of topics.
Within District 5040, there are three RYLA programs, each of which engages youth in different age brackets:  RYLA Lakelse for ages 14 & 15; RYLA South for ages 16 to 18 and RYLA North for ages 19 to 30.  A scene from the camp facility for RYLA South in Gibsons BC is pictured above and a typical agenda for RYLA South is below.
In recent years, our Sunrise Club has sponsored 8 students from King George and Britannia Secondary to participate in RYLA South.  Members of our club have also visited RYLA South during the guest Rotarian sessions - an opportunity not to be missed.
Covid restrictions have meant that, over the past 2 years, RYLA has had to proceed using virtual platforms.  James and his team are hoping and planning for RYLA to return to in-person attendance this year.  Either way, this program will continue to make a difference to youth across the province in 2022!