Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference (RYLA)

Gin Haywood, Northwest Guilford High School, and Riley Logan, Ragsdale High School

District 7690 held their second RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) Conference from June 15-18, at Oak Ridge Military Academy. A program of Rotary International, it is a four-day overnight conference. This year 55 students, from around the district, attended.

RYLA staff assist students in defining their core values and helping to develop and fine tune their fundamental skills to lead and succeed. Our program includes a wide range of leadership skills, the importance of community service, ethics, etiquette, business and professional skills, and so much more!

Students are rising upcoming juniors and seniors from local high schools in Rotary District 7690.

Greensboro Rotary sponsored Riley Logan from Ragsdale High School, and Gin Haywood, from Northwest Guilford High School.

Gary Stasco and Paula Fowler attended the RYLA Formal Dinner Saturday evening. Part of the dinner meal was the soup the students packed for their Feed the Hungry service project. (It was actually quite good!) Solomon McAuley, Empowerment Speaker and Entrepreneur, was the keynote speaker. McAuley is a tireless youth advocate and is committed to motivating today’s generations to be achievers and leaders in all facets of life. His engagement and accountability of the RYLA students kept people engaged!

During the evening, three students were recognized with Awards, chosen by the counselors and staff. Gin Haywood, teenager of Rotarian Pat Haywood, was awarded the Courage Award! This was shared about Gin, who prefers they/them as their personal pronouns:

Gin has consistently shown courage to speak their mind, giving fun quips to their fellow unicorns, taking charge walking, and nailing Family Feud. Gin took the lead in volunteering at Out of the Garden, and it is obvious they are impassioned by everything they do. Gin is an absolute pleasure to be around and their smile lights up a room.

Congratulations, Gin!

Thank you Greensboro Rotary for sponsoring two students! We hope to have both students attend a meeting this summer to share their experiences.

Paula Fowler and Gary Stasco, Youth Services Co-Chairs