A few of our members had the opportunity to serve as Facilitators at the first-ever Ridge Meadows Youth Impact Summit from November 28-30, 2014. This 3-day program, based off a model of other Rotary Youth Leadership programs in our district including RYLA and YAIL, aimed to inspire students in grades 10-12 in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to make an impact in the community and the world around them. From professional speakers to challenging leadership activities and conquering fears, the weekend concluded with the students delivering a short “Legacy Presentation” about changes they’d like to see in the community to city councilors and school board trustees.
This was an incredible event that we were very honored to be able to take part of. It was wonderful to see the leadership potential grow in so many youth, and we can’t wait for RMYIS 2015! Special thanks to the RMYIS committee for making this weekend happen.
The iRotary District Conference this year marked the 25th anniversary of Rotary District 5050. A four day event held at the Four Seasons Hotel in the heart of downtown Vancouver, one of the conference’s themes this year was focusing on the “iGeneration” – the younger members of Rotary. To go along with this, a team of past participants and Facilitators from previous RYLAs (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) and YAILs (Youth Adventures in Leadership – the district’s “junior” version of RYLA for high school students) were invited to co-facilitate the district’s first-ever “RYLA for Rotarians” on Saturday, June 1. The purpose of this was to give Rotarians a better understanding of what RYLA and YAIL entail, and to encourage them to continue sponsoring outstanding young men and women from their local communities to attend these life-changing programs. Among the mini-Facilitators were Jordan and Michelle, members of our club and a Facilitator and participant, respectively, at RYLA 2013.
Following the RYLA for Rotarians session, a flashmob on the stairs of the Vancouver Art Gallery took place to raise awareness about Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” campaign. With only a handful of cases of polio left around the globe thanks in part to the vaccination efforts of Rotarians, we truly are as close to ending polio as the video states! Check out the video below, or click here to watch it directly on YouTube.
This year, the Rotary Clubs in the Tri-Cities graciously sponsored eight of our members (Eli, Danielle, Eric, Rasmeet, Tirath, Sarah A, Camilla, and Raj) to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards held at a beautiful campsite at the foot of Mt. Baker in Washington. 53 young leaders aged 18-30 from throughout Rotary District 5050 (encompassing most of the Fraser Valley and Washington north of Seattle) participated in four days of activities and presentations revolving around leadership, service, ethics, and personal growth. A team of Facilitators, past participants who were invited back to RYLA to lead activities and group debriefs, included another of our members, Jordan, who was a RYLA participant in 2011.
Without spoiling the surprise for future participants, in the words of our members who attended, RYLA was “absolutely life changing”, “fun and full of great people”, and “not at all what [they] expected”. While the take-home message was different for everyone, the best description we were able to come up with together was that RYLA is “a place to figure out what barriers you have that would prevent you from success and to help you break down those barriers”. Not to mention the food all weekend was absolutely fantastic!
One of our favorite parts of RYLA, however, were all the new friends we made including the five new members of the Tri-Cities Rotaract club whom we brought back with us! Please join us in giving a very warm welcome to Chantal, Lauren, Parm, Chris, and Michelle – we are excited to have you on board and can’t wait to see what you each bring to the table!
Thank you again to the Rotary Clubs of the Tri-Cities for graciously sending so many of us to RYLA this year. Visit our Facebook page for more photos from this year’s RYLA. For more information about RYLA, please visit www.ryla5050.org or get in touch with your local Rotary club – who knows, maybe you could end up participating next year!