Pictured left to right:  Asst. Counselor Kristen Helmberger, District 5810 RYLA-New Generations Director Jim Duffy and Asst. Counselor Hena Fariq

At the August 2nd meeting, Jim Duffy spoke to the Club about the 22nd Annual Camp RYLA held in June, its 160 campers, and the enormous ripple-effect this program is having on the campers' lives.  Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) was created by Rotary International to encourage strong leadership in youth. Young people chosen for their leadership skills attend an all-expenses-paid camp to develop and enhance leadership skills through activities conducted in an atmosphere of trust and respect. 

The goal of RYLA is to select potential campers based on an already-proven history of leadership.  The campers typically are juniors in high school, with the idea being that they will build upon their existing leadership foundation, and later, apply it when they are seniors and have a more significant role at school.  Not only does the indoor/outdoor camp enhance leadership capabilty, it also introduces Rotary International to campers at an early age, fostering the spirit of Service Above Self.

In addition to presenting the annual RYLA video, today's meeting highlighted the recipients of the Bill Innes and Catfish Montgomery Scholarships -- Hena Fariq, who will be attending SMU this Fall as a Political Science major, and Kristen Helmberger, who looks forward to beginning her freshman year at Collin College as a Creative Writing and Business double-major.  Each spoke of the huge impact RYLA has had on their lives.