On June 24, the Orange Rotary Club welcomed two students it sponsored at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). The students are Shawna Brown and Mike Lazare.
Orange Rotary’s sponsorship allowed the two students to participate in a 3-day leadership conference at Camp Hazen in Chester, CT. RYLA is a leadership development program run by Rotary. Events typically include presentations, activities and workshops on topics such as problem solving and conflict management, community and global citizenship, communication skills and Leadership fundamentals.
At RYLA, “we had an opportunity to build service projects, friendships and relationships that will last a lifetime,” said Mike Lazare, a Hopkins student who will be a student director at next fall’s RYLA conference.
During the conference participants formed teams that develop community service project. They then implement these projects in the following months. Shawna Brown, soon to be a junior at Mercy High School in Middletown, said her RYLA participation showed her “you can change the world and still be yourself.”
Before receiving Orange Rotary sponsorship at RYLA, both Shawna and Mike participated in Interact Clubs, clubs that receive guidance from individual Rotary clubs but which govern and support themselves. Like RYLA, Interact Clubs emphasize community service projects, a major focus of Rotary.