There is no shortage of engaging opportunities for local youth in the programs offered by The Rotary Club of Burnaby Metrotown.
For the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, schools submit their top Grade 11 and 12 students. Local Rotarians then interview the candidates and select one from each high school.
Participants are chosen based on their commitment to service and leadership potential, and are sent to a long weekend filled with intensive training.
“They make friends, are exposed to fantastic speakers, and come back super charged,” says longtime Rotarian, Vivian, of the program experience. “It’s really inspiring to see how enthusiastic these kids are. Some think they won’t fit in, but as soon as they get on the bus, they’ve already made friends and found their group.”
About 300 to 400 youth from across B.C. attend the camp, where they meet new people and enjoy a wealth of new and engaging experiences.
At RYLA, they learn how to be a leader, how to be proactive, and how to give others opportunities to develop. Speakers and business leaders run the workshops.
“RYLA was truly a unique and unforgettable experience that better equipped me for the challenges I will encounter in life,” writes Page, who attended RYLA this year. “Being surrounded by so many dedicated, positive, and supportive people was really encouraging.”
Those in Grade 12 also have the opportunity to apply for the Rotary Club’s Adventures in Citizenship program, through which two hundred youth from across Canada are sent to Ottawa where they learn about democracy and the privileges and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship.
Youth are chosen based on their interest in politics, academic records, leadership experiences, and volunteer service.
“It was the adventure of a lifetime,” writes Hamish who returned from the Adventures in Citizenship program in May. “I left for Ottawa with a hopeful attitude and an open mind, and returned with knowledge, experience, and friends that will last a lifetime.”
The Rotary Club of Burnaby Metrotown also offers a short-term and long-term exchange program for high school students to spend either three weeks or 11 months abroad. Previous countries have included France, Italy, and Germany.