Community Education

Rotary Clubs bestow leadership awards on nine local students

Posted on June 27th, 2023 By:

Nine students from Gig Harbor and Henderson Bay high schools earned Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) from the Rotary Clubs of Gig Harbor Midday and Rotary North this month.

The award recognizes students who are community and school leaders, as seen in their dedication to community service. Local students earning the honor include Cassius Via, Lauren Wrolson, Liam Bass, Scarlet Marden, Charlie Edgar, Jackson Davis, Noah Cedarland, Raine McDonald, and Chiarra Buster.

Selected students receive a scholarship to attend the RYLA Northwest program, one of the longest-running RYLA programs in North America. The program brings together high school sophomore and juniors from Pierce, King, Thurston, Kitsap, Jefferson, and Clallam counties in Washington state and from Vancouver Island in British Columbia for a four-day conference. More than 100  students attended the conference June 7-10, 2023, at YMCA Camp Colman in Longbranch.

Students took part in personal development activities and team building exercises that challenged them to step outside their comfort zones, practice new leadership skills, and learn about community engagement.

The RYLA attendees also heard from local leaders about leading during times of adversity, the importance of diversity and accessibility, and the benefits of community engagement and service. The RYLA program is organized by Rotarian volunteers and executed by young leaders ranging from 18 to 26, all of whom are alumni of Rotary youth programs.

Students at the Rotary Youth Leadership Award conference at YMCA Camp Colman in Longbranch in June 2023.