The Rotary Club of Dubois County recently sponsored two Dubois County high school students to the 2022 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) at Bradford Woods. This year’s chosen attendees were Carson Bromm, a junior at Southridge High School, and Ruby Schepers, a junior at Forest Park Jr/Sr High School.
RYLA is a Rotary-sponsored youth leadership training program for high school-aged students. Each year, more than 9,000 young people are sponsored in RYLA programs by Rotary Clubs in over 25 countries. Rotarians provide the RYLA program free to all participating students.
“I learned a lot about myself during the experience. There were some aspects of myself I didn’t know existed,” said Ruby Schepers. Her favorite memory of the experience was a night hike without flashlights. “Our leader asked some fun questions that allowed our group to get to know each other better,” said Ruby. “We were free to voice our opinions on everything and anything. I felt really connected to the fellow campers, and felt like I could trust them.” When asked what her top three takeaways from the experience were, Ruby replied: “Courage, connections, and comfort.”
RYLA students are given the opportunity to grow in self-confidence, gain insights into positive group behaviors and interactions, develop leadership skills, make new friends, and have a lot of fun in the process. Most of the RYLA participants’ activities happen in an outdoor setting and sleep in modern cabins. Daily activities are a part of the Bradford Woods Outdoor Challenge Education Program.
“I made a lot of great new friends,” said Carson Bromm. “I also learned that it’s a lot easier to approach someone else to talk to them rather than waiting for people to come to me.” Carson was encouraged by his parents to attend the event, even though it wasn’t his first choice of how to spend his weekend. “If I’m being honest, I had to be pushed to do it,” said Carson. “But in the end, it was one of the best experiences I’ve had.”
The Rotary Club of Dubois County will once again sponsor four high school students for the October 2023 event. If you’re interested in adding your name to consideration for the 2023 event, please contact Judi Brown, Rotary Club of Dubois County’s New Generations Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.