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Maui County Students Learn About Leadership

October 18, 2012
The Maui Weekly

Sixty-eight sophomore and junior students from ten Maui County high schools gathered together at the 'Iao School Dining Commons to experience the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) One-Day Workshop on Thursday, Oct. 4.

This worldwide program was sponsored by the nine Maui County Rotary Clubs.

Curriculum Director Joanne Laird and a dozen adult Rotary facilitators led the students through a variety of interactive games and physical activities and guided discussion on leadership topics relevant to the students.

Article Photos

Sixty-eight students from 10 Maui County High Schools and their Rotary facilitators attended a One-Day RYLA Leadership Workshop earlier this month.
Photo: Rick Nava

Directing the RYLA operations were Maui RYLA Director Phylecia Platte, Assistant Gov. Rita Barreras and Past District RYLA Chair Larry Laird. Special guests at the workshop were Rotary International District 5000 Gov. Chet Dal Santo and District New Generations Chair Lyla Berg from Honolulu.

Of special interest was the "Leaders Speed Dating" segment that took place after lunch. Fourteen Rotary members and leaders in the community (including Sen. Roz Baker and Rep. George Fontaine) rotated from group to group answering questions about "what it takes to be a leader." This activity was rated as a workshop highlight experienced by the participants.

Twenty-eight students who attended this one-day workshop will be selected to attend the Rotary Global Peace Forum, which will be held January 25 to 27, 2013, at the Honolulu Convention Center. These selected students will be flown to Honolulu with Rotary chaperones to participate in a three-day, two-night forum, where up to 800 young adults and Rotary members from across the country and around the world will gather to discuss ideas for making this a more peaceful world.

The nine Rotary Clubs of Maui will pay for all expenses for the selected students.

Participants completed an evaluation at the end of the program and the overwhelming response was the workshop exceeded their expectations.

"I got an opportunity to meet new people, to learn about team building and speak with community leaders," said Jonathan Ibanez, grade 10, St. Anthony High School. "I also found myself having fun, while learning at every turn."

"I learned that I could build a new and better leader in myself," said Loralei Visitaion, grade 11, Lahainaluna High School.

"RYLA was a rewarding experience," said Alexandra Gilliand, grade 10, Molokai High School. "It allowed me to gain skills to advance as a leader and I learned them in a fun and effective way."

"This was a great workshop where I got to meet other students who were interested in giving back and bettering themselves and their schools," said Santana Huck, grade 11, Maui Prep.

"RYLA was an experience that will never be forgotten," said Isabella Jorgensen, grade 11, Seabury Hall. "I learned more from these adults about who I am than I would have anywhere else."

"The positive energy from the Rotary facilitators made this workshop a memorable leadership experience," said Maile Naito, grade 11, King Kekaulike High School.

"I got to meet new people, learned leadership tips and got to meet real-life leaders on Maui who are in Rotary," said Matthew Vanni, grade 11, Baldwin High School.



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