My name is Linda - I am a second year university student, and I would like to share the life changing experience I have had this year in January at RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards). RYLA is an annual camp for building the leadership skills of young people in the community, and it is an initiative of Rotary, where local Rotary clubs sponsor lucky young people like me to attend!
Just as a quick introduction to what Rotary is; Rotary is an international service organisation dedicated to bringing together professional and business leaders in the community to provide humanitarian services around the world. For example, in my local club in Lindfield, Sydney, there are accountants, teachers, bankers and dozens more professionals, who all believe in one thing – and that is to promote goodwill in the world and the community around them.
RYLA is one of the many ways that Rotary invests in the local community. This year RYLA brought together young leaders aged 18-26 from around NSW, in order to equip us with skills to make a positive impact on those around us. We had a wide range of speakers come speak to us, from people in the Army to a church Reverend, who inspired us to seek to serve others and they shared skills they have learnt about community leadership.
Moreover, we participated in intense group challenges which pushed us to see what our own leadership strengths and weaknesses were.
By the end of RYLA - the 76 of us - future teachers, doctors, engineers, and much more - left with a greater idea of how we could be better leaders. I myself am a business student, so will be using the lessons from RYLA to actively implement community involvement in the way I conduct myself in the business world.
The main thing I took away from RYLA was the importance of getting involved with a cause to help the community, whether it be doing charity work, volunteering at a nursing home, or being a mentor to young people. Not only do you get to learn from people who have had very different experiences to you, but you also get to build great relationships with inspiring people.
If you are interested in getting more involved in the community; contacting your local Rotary club is a great way to start. The thing I am always amazed by is just how friendly and welcoming everybody at Rotary is, and with dozens of Rotary clubs in Sydney alone, there will definitely be one near you. I'm extremely grateful for Rotary for giving me the opportunity to attend RYLA and will definitely continue my involvement with Rotary into the future.
Courtesy of Yvonne Taylor.
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