It's graduation season and we celebrate college and high school students who are moving on and up.   May is Youth Service month in the Rotary world, and we would like to recognize two Rotary programs to engage area youth.   
First, Rotary Youth Exchange is a program where students, ages 15-19, may travel to another country and live with a host family during a full year.   Students are emersed in the culture of another country, where they will learn a new language, develop leaderships skills and build lasting friendships.   Information about the Youth Exchange program maybe found online through the Rotary District 6000 website:
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RLYA) is a week-long program at Grinnell College, July 17-22.   The Rotary Club of Ames sponsors four area students (high school sophomores and juniors) who participate in RYLA.  

The objectives of RYLA are:

  • To encourage and assist youth leaders and potential leaders in methods of responsible and effective leadership by providing them with a training experience.
  • To encourage continued and stronger leadership of youth by youth
  • To publicly recognize the outstanding qualities of many young people who are rendering service to their schools and communities as leaders

The entire focus of RYLA is to provide foundational leadership skills for teenagers.  It has been said that leadership cannot be taught, but it must be learned.  At RYLA there are opportunities to learn leadership skills through experiential activities, incredible speakers, small group discussions, large group presentations, and in building life-long friendships.

Here are a couple of videos to learn more about each youth program.