To:        Middle School Principals, Teachers and Counselors

Re:        Young Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (Young RYLA)


It is time to recruit and select outstanding students for Young RYLA, one of Rotary’s best programs for youth!


What is Young RYLA?

Young RYLA stands for Young Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.  For over 10 years Rotary has sponsored this leadership conference for students entering the 8th grade called Young RYLA.


The objectives of Young RYLA are:

  • Provide an atmosphere where future leaders experience democratic living.
  • Expose youth leaders to some opportunities and challenges of life in a free democratic, society.
  • Promote involvement that encourages the participants to think through and arbitrate conflicts in values.


These objectives are accomplished through a 5-day program that emphasizes values like personal responsibility, service, and integrity, and develops skills such as goal-setting, decision-making, teamwork and interpersonal communication.  The program is very action-oriented and includes activities like Young RYLA Olympics, zip lines, skits and group discussions on issues appropriate to this age group. The students stay in a single-sex dormitory environment and are supervised by adult Rotarians, high school seniors and college students.


When and where is it?

The conference will be held at the Ponderosa Retreat Center in Larkspur, CO, 60 minutes south of Denver.  The conference takes place Sunday, July ____ through Friday, August ___, 20___.


Who is eligible?

  • Any student entering the 8th grade next fall.
  • The ideal candidate for Young RYLA has either demonstrated leadership ability in school, church or community activities or is a responsible and enthusiastic follower and has leadership potential.
  • A young person who is honest, responsible and shows the ability to make good decisions.
  • A young person who is recommended by a teacher, counselor or Rotarian.


What does it cost?

As an award for excellence, a local Rotary Club pays the conference fee of $450, and over 100 volunteers donate a week of their time, so there is no cost to the student.


How can students apply?

Students complete an application online at www.rmRYLA.org, obtain a guardian’s signature, as well as the signature of a counselor, teacher or Rotarian.  Each student will then be interviewed for possible selection by the local Rotary club. Students MUST contact the local Rotary club to ensure they are scheduled for an interview!  Each Rotary club interviews and selects the winning students by May 15. Every Rotary club establishes its own schedule prior to May 15, so contact them early to be sure and fit into the schedule.


For more information, please read everything on the home page and in the “About Young RYLA” link on www.rmRYLA.org, and contact your local Rotary Club via the “Find Rotary Contacts” page on the web site. You can also contact the RYLA Registrar, Registrar@rmRYLA.org.