RYLA is a program geared to young people started by Rotary International. It’s a leadership camp that focuses on service above self. I had the pleasure of attending a number of years ago and have been involved as a program facilitator ever since. This year RYLA brought together some amazing young leaders from Canada and the United States for a weekend of growth, learning, and getting to know one another.
Every year is pretty special, and this year was no different. I met two young guys who put their dreams into action and started their own restaurant, a woman who became inspired to start her own business, and a recent grad heading off to pursue his dreams at Harvard. Everyone had their own unique and inspiring story. One of the speakers, Bob Blacker, aide de camp to the former BC Lt. Gov Steven Point, told us about a project he spearheaded through Rotary.
He talked about the ‘git r done’ attitude that they used to development the Rotary/Government House partnership which has seen them build libraries on aboriginal reserves across British Columbia. In some of these remote communities, the literacy rate is as low as 2%, something which most Canadians have no idea about. Using a strong network of community-minded Rotarians, and local ‘spark plugs’ who believe in the project, libraries filled with books and computers have started popping up across the province. I wanted to share this project as a reminder to people about the power of putting an idea into action, as well as to encourage you to support them.
Find out more about the Literacy Project here.
And while you’re at it, if you’re a Rotarian please consider supporting your district’s RYLA by sending your young leaders to participate!