Did you know?
The concept of Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) originated in 1959 in Queensland, Australia. After learning that Princess Alexandra, who was in her early 20s, would be attending the state's centennial celebration, local Rotarians planned activities specifically for the princess's age group.
At the 1971 RI Convention in Sydney, Australia, the RI Board approved RYLA as an international program. It provides a unique opportunity for Rotary clubs to establish a helping relationship with future leaders.
RYLA is self-supporting; clubs pay the costs of the participants they sponsor, and no additional district funds are necessary. In some cases, district funds may be made available for unexpected expenditures or to serve as seed money.
After District 5520 (parts of New Mexico and Texas, USA) held its first RYLA event about 20 years ago, a participant summed up his experience in one word: Camelot. He wrote: "If you know the story of King Arthur, you may recall that as King Arthur was dying in a young man's arms, he turned to the youth and said, 'If you learn of anyone that has not heard of Camelot, tell them loudly and clearly that there really was that one wisp of glory called Camelot.'"