What is RYLA?

Started in 1959 in Queensland, Australia, the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards is a thriving international leadership program actively endorsed in over 528 Rotary International Districts, including District 7690 in North Carolina. The program promotes leadership skill-building, networking and preparation for college for upcoming high school juniors and seniors who display leadership potential. In District 7690, Rotary Clubs award a scholarship to one or more participants whom they feel has demonstrated beginning leadership skills or who have an interest in developing those skills.

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference (RYLA) is a leadership development conference run by Rotary District 7690 and include presentations, activities, and workshops that cover a variety of topics, including:

Leadership fundamentals and ethics
Communication skills
Problem solving and conflict management
Community and global citizenship

Who Attends RYLA?

In District 7690, male and female students who are currently sophomores of juniors apply to their local Rotary Clubs to become a participant. These students should have already shown some leadership potential or interest to be selected. The goal is for them to apply the skills learned from the conference in their school and community service endeavors in the short-term and in their college and career endeavors in the future.


What does RYLA intend to accomplish?

The aim is to launch already talented young people back into their communities, inspired and provided with fresh ideas, understandings, and skills. RYLA also seeks to send participants back to their communities better equipped to become leaders of tomorrow and prepared to apply what they have learned at the conference.

How many participants will be attending RYLA?

Around 60 current sophomore or junior males or females will be attending this year's RYLA.


What does it cost to send a participant to RYLA?

The cost per participant is $550 and it will be paid by the Rotary Clubs that sponsor each student.  There is not any cost to the participants themselves.


What are your procedures for vetting your staff?

Counselors and Junior Counselors go through an application process including their prior community service and youth involvement, as well as a video application. This all gets reviewed by our Board to make the final decision. Almost all are typically prior attendees of the conference with the knowledge and expectations being clear since they have attended in the past. We run background checks on any staff member staying at the conference with our RYLArians. Session speakers will not have individual access to participants or their contact information, so they will not need criminal background checks.

       RYLA also has a NO person alone policy. Our staff is trained if anyone ever needs a moment away from the group we grab two staff members and another RYLArian for the situation. Always.

We also have boys vs. girls dorm spaces and opposite genders are not allowed on the other spaces, with an immediate removal from the conference if that rule is broken. This includes our staff unless reason is given for needing to break that rule beforehand.

     We are VERY clear at the conference of expectations and ramifications for lack of following our rules about this. Each student has the director's personal cell phone number on the back of their nametag and we encourage the openness to text or call ANYTIME during the conference if they are concerned about anything.   


What should I wear during RYLA?

There is a whole What to Bring List to help know what to pack! Click here to go directly to that page.

What to Bring List




The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and District 7690 are part of much larger organization called Rotary International. Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated human rights purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It is a secular organization open to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political preference. There are 34,282 member clubs worldwide. 1.2 million individuals called Rotarians have joined these clubs. Rotary International Websiteā€‹

Contact Us Any Time! ryla7690@gmail.com or call Executive Director Kristi Kinsey directly at (904) 826-7819

June 13th-16th, 2024

Rotary District 7690.RYLAā€‹