Young adventurers return to Rotary - RYLA

RYLA is a leadership program coordinated by Rotary Clubs around the globe

At a recent meeting, Cirencester Rotary Club ‘s members welcomed back three young men who the Club had supported to undertake significant personal challenges over the Summer period. Each gave an illustrated talk on their adventures.

First to report back was Will Tallon who was one of a party of 12 from his school who spent three weeks in the Moshi area of Tanzania, helping to build a classroom at a village school in a poor rural area. As a reward for their efforts, the party also enjoyed a mini-safari and spent five days climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (15,800 feet). Will showed a range of excellent pictures from the adventure and explained how much the experience broadened his outlook – which will help him in his new role as Head Boy at his school.

Jake Keary from Kingshill School and Ollie Trott from Deer Park School then reported on their participation in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) scheme, which took place over six days in the Forest of Dean. Their challenges included canoeing, climbing, team-building and giving presentations.

RYLA is designed by Rotary to improve young people’s communication and leaderships skills, impart knowledge of business and institutions, explore career paths, share ideas and experiences and to help participants to learn how to co-ordinate youth activities and other projects in the community.

Rotary President Shaun Gibson explained, “Our club is proud to support local young people through a range of projects and initiatives, of which RYLA is just one. We also encourage young chefs, musicians, technology students and those wishing to improve interview skills and public speaking. Ollie, Jake and Will’s talks to the Club provided clear evidence of the value of such encouragement and support.”


RLYA – some background: Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a leadership program coordinated by Rotary Clubs around the globe. Each year, thousands of young people (age 16-18) participate in this program. Young people are sponsored by Rotary Clubs to attend the event run by the club's district committee. Participants are chosen for their leadership potential. Every RYLA program covers the following core topics:

  • Fundamentals of leadership
  • Ethics of positive leadership
  • Importance of communication skills in effective leadership
  • Problem-solving and conflict management
  • Rotary's purpose and service to the community
  • Building self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Elements of community and global citizenship

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