LOGAN UTAH: Members of the Cache Valley Morning (CVM) Rotary Club welcome Chase Wallace (16), Danaca Grider (16), Darci Olsen (17), Nikita Rogers (17), and Ryan Sorenson (18) back from an intensive training in Heber City at the 2015 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), organized and run by the Utah Rotary District 5420. The five youth leaders from Sky View High School in Smithfield were guest speakers at Tuesday’s CVM Rotary Club meeting.
Trace Skeen, CVM Rotary President remarked, “The enthusiastic report from these youth reflects the benefits of attending the training. We are so pleased to hear them describe the principles of leadership they internalize through leadership forums, workshops, and team building exercises over the four-day training period.” Ryan Sorenson commented on the impact of the leadership training, “I learned to be more sympathetic and mindful of others who have different beliefs and perspectives as well as those who have extraordinary personal and life challenges.” “It was a tipping point in my life as I became inspired, at the academy, to understand people at a deeper level, and to know that as part of my training as a future leader I should reach out to help others whenever I am in the position to do so, even when it feels awkward,” he added with determination and a cheerful smile.
RYLA is one of the most significant and growing programs in Rotary service. Each year, thousands of young people take part in the program worldwide. It emphasizes training and development of youth leadership, citizenship, and personal growth. Training activities focus on character building and professional development including critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making, change management, and team building, all through experiential learning.
Steve Skinner, Club Founder and Past District Governor said, “CVM Rotary has sent outstanding students to RYLA for the past 10 years. Investment in youth is one of the major areas of focus for our club. We do this through Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), international youth exchange programs, and high school clubs known as Interact.”
Danaca Grider recalled with excitement about the training, “You get to meet nearly 200 youth from the State of Utah as well as Rotary-sponsored exchange students from Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and other locations. We gain respect for one another and become best friends in a hurry because of our shared values and sense of mission.” Noting the life-changing event in late September, she added, “Thanks to the professional training, I am no longer afraid to change my life and change the world for the better whatever the obstacle,” she said.
Danaca Grider’s transformation experience at the academy resonates with that of Nikita Rogers, who said, “I learned at the academy that a true leader is someone who goes out of their way to serve those around them. It doesn’t matter what your title, success, looks, or situation is, you can make a difference on matter where and who you are.” Jonathan Badger, CVM Rotary Youth Committee Chairman said, “We are proud of the dedication and commitment of these outstanding future Rotarians. Our future is in good hands with them.”
Rotary is an international service organization of 34,282 clubs in 128 countries and over 1.2 million members who are local business, professional, and civic leaders. Rotary has had a primary role in the eradication of polio worldwide in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO). The most recent report shows less than 50 cases worldwide this year, with the crippling and potentially deadly disease remaining in only three countries, namely, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Ukraine.
Besides supporting polio eradication, CVM Rotary sponsors overseas youth exchange opportunities. The Club also has an ongoing commitment in contributing time, talent, resource, and participation to all of the following local organizations and programs: The Family Place (formerly Child & Family Support Center), Centro de la Familia, Cache Food Pantry, and Cache Valley Literacy Program. It also supports the cultural arts and literacy programs of the Cambodia International Children Friend Organization, a children’s home located in Phnom Penh.
In addition to active participation in community projects, networking, and social events, members of CVM Rotary meet everyTuesday morning at 7:30 AM to find ways to better serve our community, and to strengthen ongoing working relationships through networking events and field trips at major businesses and institutions around the valley.
As a membership organization, CVM Rotary seeks out businesses and individuals who are enthusiastic about providing service at both local and international levels. The collegial environment within the club allows for members to bring their career expertise to become part of the solution for improving the quality of life in Cache Valley as well as the world at large.
For information on Rotary’s youth programs, visit https://www.rotary.org/en/get-involved/join-leaders/rotaract-interact-and-ryla