December 27, 2002

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotarian, David Kulchin, President, introduced Michael Metts, Vocational Chair, and Rob Woodard, the facilitator, who presented the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) to Carlsbad High School award recipients: Thomas, Carey, Anthony, Christina Katie Jose, Rachael, Nazaret Hurtado and Margaret Martinez. Morma Fahlstrom was their coach and sponsor.


Carlsbad Rotary Club RYLA members (l-r) Margaret Martinez and Nazaret Hurtado of Carlsbad High School.

Nazaret Hurtado, age 17 a 12th Grade, B grade average student said that since her experiences in RYLA she started volunteering at Tri-City Hospital and began dance lessons. She is a member of AVID, a club to prepare students for college and did a teaching internship at Jefferson Elementary School. Her conclusions were, “RYLA was a wonderful experience that I enjoyed very much.”

The RYLA section of Rotary recognizes and promotes excellence in youth leadership among high school juniors and awards students by giving them and exciting all-expense paid participation at a weekend conference in an outdoor setting, in this instance in the mountains of Idlewild. Motivational speak-ers, group discussions and interactive workshops are used to hone student abilities.

Margaret Martinez, a 16 year old, 12th grader with an A grade average, maintains these good grades in honors and advanced placement courses. She tutors chemistry students who need special help. She, too, is has been a part of the AVID program four years and will take summer courses at Palomar College. She is a member of San Diego clean-up program and was cleaning at Oceanside pier that day. But she still saves time for volunteering. Margaret said, “Since RYLA, I have been able to become less timid when in class. I have opened myself up to new friends that I met at RYLA”.

The awardees spoke enthusiastically to the membership about the benefits of their experiences at the RYLA Camp. Most often, they referred to: making and keeping new friendships; understanding the importance of service and kindness; learning how to make choices, set long and short term goals, and decide priorities; aiming high for achievements; taking good risks in life; reaching with courage; dreaming of self-fullfillment; and understanding the importance of trust and perseverance.

Both, Mike Metts and Rob Woodard exhilarated from their upbeat experience at RYLA Camp. Rob claims it was a true gift from the club for him to participate as a facilitator at RYLA. Mike says there are no adjectives to describe the program - went home and told his wife they now have eight kids, all high schoolers that will soon be going off to College. The two have “semi” adopted the student and are always available if they need advice or just a shoulder to lean on.

Story submitted by Delta Collins of Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club.

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