RYLA Students Share Their Experiences with Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough

Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough sponsored six high school sophomores from Acton-Boxborough to attend RYLA, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference at Fitchburg State University from June 24-26, 2016.

This year we haryla2016d a huge turnout– 23 HS Sophomore candidates from Acton-Boxborough applied. Among the many highly qualified sophomore candidates who were interviewed, the six finalists from Acton-Boxborough who attended RYLA were Anthea Bell from Boxborough, Lindsey Huang from Acton, Aditi Sirsikar from Acton, Juliana Walsh from Acton, Anna Wu from Acton and Jerry Wu from Acton.

These students were among the nearly two hundred participants from more than fifty Rotary Clubs from Central Massachusetts to attend the RYLA conference.

The conference was aimed at developing the leadership potential of the participating students by having each of them involved in three days of interactive leadership labs and challenging hands-on activities.

Photo courtesy of Christine Pinney Marketing

Pictured from left to right is Jerry Wu of Acton from ABRHS, Steven Woods (RYLA Alumnus) of Acton from ABRHS, Lindsey Huang of Acton from ABRHS, Joe Badenhoff President of Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough, Aditi Sirsikar of Acton from ABRHS, Anna Wu of Acton from ABRHS, Juliana Walsh of Acton from Parker Charter School and Anthea Bell of Boxborough from ABRHS.

Jerry Wu said, I thought it was a great experience, it taught me leadership skills as well as real life skills. The people I met and the experiences we shared were both inspiring and educational. Most importantly it was in a fun, open, and accepting community. If people are on the edge to whether to go just remember it’s free and it’s worth a try. It’s something I will definitely remember and think back on in my life.

Lindsey Huang said, Although RYLA only lasted two days, it was a truly unique experience that allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and meet so many amazing people. I particularly enjoyed how nearly all of the activities were active; participants would have to actually use leadership skills, as opposed to just learning about them from a lecture. RYLA totally exceeded my expectations, and I’d encourage anyone to take advantage of this special opportunity.

Aditi Sirsikar said, Of the many experiences at RYLA, generally, I appreciated the applicability of activities and exercises. Leadership workshops tend to include tacky activities that lend little correspondence to realistic scenarios, but the games and conversations we had at RYLA reflected concerns and questions student leaders think about everyday. I learned a lot and still talk to some of the amazing people I met at RYLA.

Juliana Walsh said, I had such a fun time at RYLA! I found it really inspirational. We did a series of trust building and leadership activities and were able to become really close with the people around us. RYLA pushed me in a way I hadn’t been able to do before and it gave me a new perspective of the world. We really built a strong sense of community that weekend which was really special.

Anthea Bell said, My favorite part of RYLA was bonding with my group members. We created lots of memories and inside jokes together while we gained new perspectives regarding teamwork. We discovered new challenges that came with working with others but we also learned to overcome those difficulties.

To learn more about this exciting program and the Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough please visit www.actonboxboroughrotary.org