RYLA As the school year draws to a close, districts are hosting their Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). In case your district doesn’t yet sponsor this Rotary event, or you are unfamiliar with it, RYLA is an intensive leadership experience organized by Rotary clubs and districts where youth develop skills as a leader while having fun and making connections. There’s a brand new video, useful for promoting the event to prospective attendees as well as Rotarians. Consider: Sharing this video at club meetings to get more members involved in starting or supporting a club or district RYLA; Screening it at school and community events to help attract participants to your existing RYLA program; and Posting the link to it on your website and social media to raise awareness.
Interact As we finish celebrating World Interact Week, consider also sharing the 18 minute video of the Youth Advisory Council’s live Facebook discussion. Hear their thoughts on Interact, youth voice, and youth belonging in Rotary. These are your future members.
For those sponsoring Interact clubs, December 3rd is the the deadline to submit a promotional video, photo, and/or essay that raises awareness about Interact and shares what being an Interactor means. Submit your video, photo, and/or essay nominations for a chance to be named “Best Video,” “Best Photo,” or “Best Essay” and receive funds to support your Interact club.
World Children’s Day, when UNICEF hosts a day of action for children, by children, is coming up on November 20th. This year, young people are raising their voices on the issues that matter to their generation and are calling for adults to partner with them in creating a better future. With over 350,000 participants across Rotary’s youth programs, we must realize that young leaders are critical partners in driving social change. What is your district and club doing to empower young people and celebrate World Children’s Day? Here are a few ideas:
- Learn about Rotary’s Youth Service programs, one of our five Avenues of Service, by recognizing the importance of empowering youth and young professionals through service and leadership development programs, including Interact, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), and Rotary Youth Exchange;
- Engage young leaders as partners. Invite young people to your Rotary or Rotaract club meetings and partner in serving your shared community. These partnerships require active listening, flexibility, honesty with each other, and openness to cultural differences.
- Amplify the power of youth voices. Including the ideas, thoughts, and actions of young people in the decision-making process for those things that affect and shape their lives. Create opportunities to include youth in leadership roles in your club and district.
- Empower youth through service-learning, emphasizing that young people should oversee their service experience. Empower young leaders to identify the issues they care about and develop and implement an effective action plan.
- Prioritize Youth Protection. Youth protection is essential in all Rotary youth programs. Review and share Rotary’s youth protection resources for clubs and districts that participate in youth programs and commit to fostering environments that are safe and positive for young people.