Youth Programs

The RYLA program originated with Rotary International in 1972. It was modified by District 5340 for the students in San Diego and Imperial Counties. The RYLA award is directed to 11th grade students. They submit an essay and are interviewed by a panel of Rotarians. Those chosen attend a three-day, no-cost camp. It encourages leadership in youth, inspired by a diverse group of exceptional speakers. The students make life-long friends, and discuss the ethical and social issues of the day.
Students are grouped into 32 "families" of 8-9 students and one Rotarian Facilitator. These families are identified by a name chosen to represent a large US university, such as USC or Michigan. The families spend the three days as a cohesive unit, listen-ing to the various speakers, gathering as a unit to discuss what lessons they learned, doing team building exercises, and generally modeling the maturity and discipline that resulted in their participation in RYLA.
The PLRC is allocated four slots for students from Point Loma High School. Space at the camp is limited to about 300 total stu-
dents. As articulated by club member Jim Piburn: “With the sizeable number of participating Rotary Clubs and high schools, we feel very blessed. We have been participating with RYLA selection since 2009.” During most of the past decade, PLRC has been able to get at least one club member to participate as a Facilitator.
LEADERSHIP, ETHICS, ASPIRATION, and DETERMINATION (LEAD)                                                                                                     
The comparable youth LEAD program is a two-day leadership and personal development program for 8th grade middle school students. They are selected by their school administrators−chosen for their maturity, leadership skills, and academic excellence. Each participating school selects one young man and one young woman. The camp is developed and presented by Rotarians in District 5340 and comes at no cost to the student or the participating schools. All expenses are paid by the Rotary Clubs of District 5340.
The PLRC has four spaces for LEAD students−two from Correia Middle School, and two from Warren-Walker. Space at the camp is limited to about 200 total students. The PLRC has been participating with LEAD for over 10 years. At least one club member participates as a Facilitator at this camp as well.
RYLA-LEAD Comparison

RYLA lets the high school students drive the direction of their experience. The LEAD grade school experience is more structured. It provides seminars on ethical responsibility, and improving leadership and communication skills. These eighth graders meet students from throughout Southern California. This program facilitates shared experiences, which improves the empathy for, and the understanding of others.

EcoLogik is a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program for young girls operated by the National Park Service at Carrillo National Monument Park. The EcoLogik Project is a unique fusion of ecology, nature, and technology. EkoLogik connects the next generation of science stewards to the natural resources and science at Cabrillo National Monument.
In collaboration with the San Diego Downtown Library’s Innovation Lab, and the Cabrillo National Park Foundation, this multidisciplinary
approach fosters a learning platform for young girls. Its objective is to make technology more accessible to students, while in- spiring them to choose careers in STEM fields. The goal of the EcoLogik Pro- ject is to provide education tools and context empowering the 21st century of park stewards in mean-ingful and relevant ways with science.
Mike Whitehurst, Leon Scales and Rob Cenko attended a project fair by the young women scientists sponsored by Ecologik at Cabrillo Monument (August 2022). Many of the parents expressed their gratitude for all the PLRC does in the community. PLRC has donated money to EkoLogic for several years. Club members have at attend EkoLogic events, with a view toward showing support for its educational projects.