Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

R.Y.L.A. is a program that brings together youth and young adults, to further develop character and leadership skills and learn about Rotary.

RYLA often takes the form of a seminar, camp, or workshop, generally 3-10 days in length, organized by Rotarians at the club, district, or multidistrict level. Participants are nominated by local Rotary clubs, which often cover all expenses. For these young adults, this recognition offers the opportunity to build self-confidence, gain exposure to a variety of issues and people, meet active community leaders, and learn valuable information and career skills.

RYLA gives Rotarians the opportunity to mentor promising young leaders serving their own communities and beyond. Rotarians serve as resources for participants on the path to becoming professional and community leaders. In turn, RYLA can bring new energy to a Rotary district, inspire ideas for service, increase support of community service projects, and develop future Rotarians.

RYLA shares the following program objectives:
• To demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth
• To encourage and assist young people in responsible and effective voluntary youth leadership by providing them with a valuable training experience
• To foster continued and stronger leadership of youth by youth
• To publicly recognize the many young people who are rendering service to their communities as youth leaders

Locally, the Punxsutawney Rotary sponsors at no cost, students entering their senior year of high school. We participate in a District wide program held at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA that brings together approximately 120 participants from Northwest Pennsylvania schools. The RYLA program is always in June and dates vary year to year. It is a week-long conference starting on Sunday afternoon and ending on Friday evening.

Applications are available at the High School Guidance Office starting in January of each year. Applicants are selected on a competitive process that involves an interview and other criteria.