Youth Leadership


Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) provide training to young people, emphasizing leadership, citizenship, and personal growth. They also publicly recognize young people who have rendered service to their communities.

More than 100 high-potential high school juniors and seniors from this part of Virginia and nearby Tennessee attend a 3-day RYLA seminar and speech contest at Virginia Tech. Communication skills are tested in a competitive speech contest on the topic of preventing drug and alcohol abuse. The winner continues on to a higher level of competition.

hannah-phillips-ryla-stauntTo be eligible, a student must show a record of accomplishment and leadership. Members of our club work with our successful applicant to prepare for the competition. He or she also presents highlights of the Virginia Tech RYLA seminar to our members, and attends our Excellence in Education Banquet.

SML Rotary works closely with a Guidance Counselor at Staunton River High School to identify suitable candidates before we interview them. Our program may be expanded to include Franklin County High School if students and school leaders wish to participate.

This program supports Rotary’s “New Generations Avenue of Service.”

Photo: Our 2102 RYLA participant, Hannah Phillips, with members Bill Lesyna and Case Pieterman.