Rotary Youth Leadership Academy to Meet at WWU

William Woods University will host the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA) June 27 -30.


Missouri students who have finished their sophomore year of high school are eligible to attend RYLA. Each student is sponsored by their home Rotary Club, which has worked with other community-oriented organizations to find candidates with hearts for service.


RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship and personal growth, and aims to demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth, provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders, encourage leadership of youth by youth and recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their community.


Students will participate in teambuilding and awareness activities, as well as service projects and self evaluation, to learn the ideals of service—global and community awareness and service through high, fair, ethical standards and through personal relationships.


Our goal is to offer our participants a transformational experience.  Although we want them to have a good time while at the academy, we are clear about this not being the primary reason we are together,” said Marilyn Sterns, director of programming for the Missouri RYLA Academy. 


“We hope that through the curriculum and through the modeling of adult Rotarian and non-Rotarian participants, our teens will leave having experienced a transformation in their thinking and in their hearts regarding service.” 


She added, “We hope they will enter their adult lives seeing service as a way of life that naturally emerges from a commitment of their hearts; see themselves as connected citizens of their communities, nation and world.  We hope they take in the message, ‘It is not about me,’ and embrace the motto of Rotary International, ‘Service above Self.”


For more information, contact Stearns at (816)353-8503 or