What is RYLA: ( Rotary Youth Leadership Award)  is a weekend-long leadership development program for high school juniors hosted and sponsored by Rotary Clubs in district 5910.  RYLA is an experiential program designed to help young people develop their team work and communication skills and fulfill their potential as leaders. The program consists of a combination of presentations and activities facilitated by Rotarians, community and business leaders focusing on leadership development. The program gives students the opportunity to experience and practice leadership skills in action. The students learn “4-Way Test of the things Rotarians act, say and do” with the host Rotary Club 4-way Test:   Is it the truth?   Is it fair to all concerned?   Will it build goodwill and better friendships?   Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
The Lufkin Rotary Club selected 11 Lufkin High School juniors  to attend RYLA  (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) camp this past January. Those students are: Daisy Lopez, Maria Mejia, Joe Soto, Andrew Ehrlich, Jordi Velasquez, Joshua Williams, Demi’treanna Johnson, Emily Gilbreath, Joshua Simmons, Evelyne Castillo, Leah Akridge.
There are about 300 high school juniors selected from around the 5910 district to attend this camp. From the participants, 24 counselors are selected to return as seniors to be a Counselor for the incoming RYLA students. The Lufkin Rotary Club had two Lufkin High School students chosen to return for the 2019 RYLA camp, Maria Mejia and Leah Akridge.
From those 24 Counselors, a few are chosen to return as a Trainer and receive a Scholarship for college. Mackenzie Foley attended RYLA in 2017 and was a counselor this year. She was chosen to return in 2019 as a Trainer, and she received a scholarship.

Mackenzie Foley receiving her scholarship from RYLA.