May 27, 2019: A presentation from RYLA participants Zachary Smith, Cassie Hall, and Claire Martin. webpage
Mel Warman, Youth Service Director, opened this week’s presentation on RYLA. Before starting her presentation, she acknowledged the enduring and significant contributions to RYLA and Youth Service of our treasurer, Judy Cochran.
Zachary Smith, a sixteen-year-old grade 11 student, attended RYLA this year. He said he had a very positive time, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not everyone is vocal about their lives and experiences, and many keep their problems and challenges to themselves, nevertheless everyone should be valued and respected.
Zachary developed many friendships with participants and counsellors and was very comfortable with the program. He felt that it was life-altering, and was very grateful to Rotary for sponsoring him.
Aaron Verhesen, John Alford, and our exchange student, Laura Pipolo, sent letters, read out by Mel, saying similar things with great enthusiasm; and the impression I had was that the program had indeed had a major positive impact on all of the participants.
Next up were the senior counsellors who led the RYLA program. They were Cassie Hall, an aspiring writer, and Claire Martin, an engineering student. Both were previous RYLA participants, roommates and best friends.
They mentioned that DGE Christine Rempel attended the program and broke a board herself. The two young ladies described many of the exercises of the program, and made me wish I could have attended such a thing when I was young!
reported by Larry Doyle
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