These testimonials are from students who graduated from both the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) first and then Managing Ourselves second. David Ledgerwood, himself a 15-year RYLA veteran, asked them how/why Managing Ourselves is a great follow up experience for RYLA graduates. This is what they said:
Managing Ourselves was a perfect follow-up to RYLA
RYLA was life-changing in a lot of ways. Over the course of the camp I definitely grew my skills to a new level. Managing Ourselves was a perfect follow-up to RYLA
because it gave me a chance to perform with other students who also possessed similar skills. To me, RYLA was a practice run and MO was a real game. – Maria, 2011 RYLA and MO graduate
Use your leadership skills to work on real organizational problems
At RYLA you learn a lot of great stuff about yourself and it’s an incredible journey of self discovery, but the key learnings aren’t really put to the test. Yes, there’s a ropes course and other challenges, but those don’t give you a real-life application like Managing Ourselves does. MO throws you into different scenarios where you have to use your leadership skills to work on real organizational problems.
Sometimes, I’ll admit, I was challenged to lead without being too bossy and it’s those moments of leading and getting things done in a learning environment that are critical to developing real-world leadership skills. I know it’s cliche, but it’s 100% true: MO really helped me discover what I wanted to do with my life and gave me a great head start on my life plan. – Maddy, 2011 RYLA and MO graduate
Took the leadership and team building activities of RYLA to a whole new level.
Managing Ourselves took the leadership and team building activities of RYLA to a whole new level. We were able to use the skills we learned at RYLA in multiple real world scenarios. – Nick, 2011 RYLA and MO graduate
Real life application of leadership potential
I think RYLA is this perfect world ‘bubble’ where we were able to see the potential of what a group or individual can achieve when every person is positively working toward the same goal. The team obstacles generally went over smoothly with an immediate intrinsic reward. Managing Ourselves, on the other hand, throws students into real life application of leadership potential where it’s met with many more real-life obstacles and distractions, like having to think about money and other resource constraints. RYLA builds up your attitude and enthusiasm and MO is the perfect next step where you get to test your drive to make a difference, but you still have a safety net — a careful learning environment where mentors are there to help when needed. At the end of RYLA I felt like I could do anything — MO forced me to prove it. – Cori, 2010 RYLA graduate, 2011 MO graduate