Youth and Young Adults
Client: Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA)
Situation: Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is Rotary International’s leadership training program for young people. RYLA participants can be ages 14-30. This event involved youth in the 14-to-18-year-old range. RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth by:
- Demonstrating Rotary’s respect and concern for youth,
- Providing an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders,
- Encouraging leadership of youth by youth, and
- Publicly recognizing young people who render service to their communities.
The Washington DC / Central Prince George’s County MD district Rotary leaders organized a weekend-long youth leadership retreat. They needed a facilitator to lead multiple workshops for the retreat participants – young people specially selected by their high schools using criteria set forth by the Rotary district. These workshops focused on communication, presentation, and leadership skills and were to be highly-interactive in order to maintain the interest of these motivated young leaders.
What We Did:
- Identified how the Rotary district leaders were to determine that the educational sessions and the retreat as a whole would be “successful”.
- Determined and agreed to fees and program materials production arrangements that worked with the organization’s budget. (Sylvia waived local travel reimbursement and stayed at the retreat lodging location.)
- Attended most of the committee planning meetings held by district leaders in order to learn how the organization carried out its mission and worked with members and volunteers. Also learned the history behind the retreat and actively contributed to the planning phases.
- Researched on the Internet about the organization and its worldwide service.
- Developed workshops and accompanying reference materials for each time period scheduled throughout the weekend for educational programs, upon outline approvals.
- Worked with district leaders and retreat organizers – including representatives of the youth to participate in the experience – to ensure programs met the specific needs of the organization.
- Facilitated multiple programs, as scheduled, throughout the weekend.
- Followed-up with district leaders by attending their evaluation and celebration meeting to learn of the effectiveness of the programs we developed and facilitated.
Results: The students communicated to district leaders – through their evaluations and through in-person communications – that the programs were participatory, challenging, fun, and applicable to their leadership responsibilities. They learned about themselves and developed or improved upon skills they then applied to their school, work, and volunteer pursuits. District leaders were so satisfied with Sylvia’s performance and contributions that they invited her to participate in the next year’s leadership retreat.
Testimonials from Other Youth & Young Adult Groups: