Interact leaders attend RYLA

Interact Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) will be held on Friday, April 15 and will end Sunday, April 17 at Thousand Pines Conference Center in Crestline. The club’s co-president and community coordinator juniors Evan Sentoso and Aaron Bao will be attending the camp to understand more about Interact’s root purpose.

RYLA is a leadership camp that invites around 300 juniors across Southern California and  Southern Nevada from Interact District 5300 to build communication and problem-solving skills and increase cultural awareness. The three-day camp is filled with activities, including a “rotary challenge,” where students’ leadership abilities are tested by a series of tasks that require cooperation with peers.

“I hope to really hone my leadership skills,” Bao said. “I’ve been able to get the feel for leadership positions from school, but I’ve never gotten the chance to really test those skills out in a new environment where I don’t know anybody. Also, I’m just hoping to meet new people and create some newfound friendships.”

Sentoso and Bao plan to use the skills they obtain from attending the camp into the development of Interact’s cabinet and the club as a whole, including learning about life in different cultures.

“I expect to use the knowledge and insight from [RYLA] to strengthen my board’s teamwork, synergy, and organization. ” Sentoso said. “I plan to incorporate more interaction and bonding among members because that aspect of Interact is inherently in its name. By interacting with others with different backgrounds, I hope to continue my presidency with a more open-minded outlook and encourage diversity within our members.”

As Interact is a club with goals of unification within a community and exposing students to leadership opportunities, RYLA offers methods to help improve each individual’s role in the organization.

“As my chapter of Interact draws to a close, theirs is approaching its climax,” co-president Jonathan Yang said. “I’m hoping for the 2016-2017 team to continue Interact’s legacy of innovating and taking challenges head on. My era of Interact is closing, but I know that Evan and Aaron will lead it and push it to evolve to their own ambition and vision.”

By Melissa Kim, Staff writer
Photo by Sajid Iqbal