The program for the May 12 Club Meeting was all about our youth. Melanie Druziako, District 7640 Youth Services Director (and a member of our club) gave an overview of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) prior to introducing the class of 2015 RYLA students our club is sponsoring.
Melanie first introduced Sejel Menghani of Vineland High School who organized a 5K Run which raised $3,000.00 for Project Smile which provides Cleft Palate surgery to needy children in India. She then went on to explain the RYLA Program. It is for Juniors in High School entering their Senior Year.
RYLA is designed to give the participants “insight.” She likened it to a “life schoo.l” It involves five days at Stockton State University where the goal is for the participants to discover their potential, learn leadership skills, open participants’ minds to the world around them and dream big. 166 students from Southern New Jersey will be attending this year’s RYLA Program. The program is designed to reinforce what Rotary is all about. The graduates are nicknamed RYLARIANS.
Business leaders present “games” to the classes which encourage the students to gain knowledge with the goal of gaining wisdom at the conclusion of the exercise. The insight students experience gives them the deepest meaning of learning.
Maureen Simmons introduced the RYLA students in attendance. They are –
Shyloh Alicea – VHS, animal activist, values kindness and respect. Wakes up every day with “new eyes on the world”.
Neha Ashraf – VHS, three year Interact member at VHS
McKenzie Bond – VHS, Interact member at VHS. McKenzie stated that “she has been involved in volunteerism forever”. Her Interact career began in middle school at the Wallace School in Vineland.
Andres Cortes – VHS, volunteered at the Red Cross in addition to his Interact involvement.
Ibette Cruz Lopez – VHS, member of VHS Interact, participates in numerous extra curricular activities in addition to Interact.
Elissia Forty – VHS, traveled to the Santo Domingo orphanage. The experience there made her realize how much she loves children and travel.
Emma King – VHS, has been involved with Interact since the sixth grade. She is the youngest president of the Tri County Interact group, as she was elected to this office as a sophomore. Her academic goal is to ultimately become a pediatrician. Beside being in Interact, Emma also is a member of the VHS crew team.
Anthony Matos – VHS, thoroughly enjoys his Interact experience. Computer engineering is his career goal. He hopes to go to Carnegie Melon University.
Alexander Matos – VHS, Vice President VHS Interact Club 2015 – 2016 year. Alexander is also a member of the TSA Club. Has a passion for computers and advanced mathematics.
Ryan McMahon – VHS, wants to ge more involved with Interact. His brother was a RYLARIAN. Ryan’s career goal is to become an architect. In addition to his Interact activities Ryan also is a member of the VHS crew team.
Sejal Menghani – VHS, has been a member of Interact since her freshman year. This past year she traveled to the Santo Domingo orphanage supported by Vineland Rotary to volunteer.
Karla Merino – VHS, first year Interact member. Also participates in Red Cross.
Aaska Patel – VHS, loves volunteer work.
Nathaniel Hanrahan – Gloucester County Christian School, currently volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.
Brigete Nitsche – Paul VI High School, participates in musical theater and loves being a volunteer for worthy causes. Pre-med Psychology with an ultimate goal of being a Psychiatrist are her career goals.
Jeremy Wozunk – St Augustine Prep, loves volunteering for worthy causes, rebuilding other people’s houses, camping and sports.
All the participants in this year’s RYLA program thanked Vineland Rotary and the Selection Committee for the sponsorship.