Since 1971, The Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) has recognized young, diverse leaders by rewarding them with an opportunity to expand their perceptions and ideals. RYLA participants gain knowledge about themselves, learn to work more effectively in groups, and ultimately develop the tools necessary to become better people, clear communicators and future leaders.
Once a year, local Rotary clubs select RYLA participants based upon an essay and application process. Once selected to receive the award, young adults attend a weeklong retreat that has been carefully planned to further develop their interpersonal and leadership skills.
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
- Recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities
Rotary also sponsors other complementary programs for young people:
A service club for young adults
A service club for secondary school students
A chance to live and study abroad