The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards are definitely a win for the students. But the District wants to make RYLA more of a win: win for Rotary as a whole. Clubs go to great effort to recruit ,for RYLA, some of the finest young people in their age cohort. People who should be the Rotarians of the future.
As Lucy Hodgson , RYLA Course Director, says in her report on this year's rain soaked RYLA "RYLArians leave... full of enthusiasm about Rotary and we want to harness this so that we can keep them as part of Rotary." The Rotary for RYLA (R4R) group will help Lucy implement a more structured approach to keeping in touch through a Facebook group, a regular age appropriate newsletter (below) and encouraging clubs to keep in touch and offer event volunteer opportunities to RYLArians
This is a long term project. Our RYLA students are mostly at an inflection point in their lives, with exams and career/university choices looming. Historically, they have rarely been able to commit to joining Interact, Rotaract/Rotary in their post RYLA year. But getting a consistent, positive Rotary message direct to them over the years to come will bear fruit. They have enjoyed some of the best Rotary can offer. They are the kind of people who will want to give back when the time is right for them.