top of page

Leadership Award for High Schoolers

by guest writer, Brandon Truong

Howdy beautiful bilicious students!

ATTENTION UNDERCLASSMEN, especially soon-to-be sophomores and juniors.

There is an amazing program you should check out once you become an eligible junior.

What is this program you may ask? It’s called RYLA: Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. It’s a program geared to take already established leaders and improve their leadership qualities, abilities, and connections. Sponsored by the Rotary Club, whose mission is to offer service to their community, RYLA will give you the tools you need to become a better member of your community. Coming from Point Loma High, you’d be sponsored specifically by the Point Loma Rotary Club. The high school version of this club is known as Interact. If you like to help your community, attend a meeting and join that club!


Glad you asked! RYLA is a 3-day camp up in Idyllwild, California. They take about 1-4 students from each school and mash them together on a bus with people from schools all around San Diego. You will mostly spend the duration of RYLA with amazing juniors you’ve never met before. It wouldn’t be RYLA without surprises! Students get the best experience at camp not knowing anything about the 3 days at all. However, get ready for a roller coaster of emotions, physical activity, and some life-changing speakers along the way.


Dang, you really ask some good questions! Some reasons you may apply to RYLA include but are not limited to:

Building your leadership skills

Becoming a more competitive college applicant

A retreat to relax from the monotony of school work and fake friends


Meet new and amazing leaders from other schools

Get outside (Idyllwild is so pretty and I don’t know about you but I’m tired of staring at my computer screen)

If you want to laugh, cry, and smile with people you just met and make bonds to last a lifetime

Stay in a cool cabin

Lowkey flex on people (I don’t know it’s a subtle flex in my opinion)

Have a gratifying life-experience that improves you as a person!

Do not let this opportunity go to waste! Apply to RYLA when you get the chance!

Side note: if you have Beltran for AP English Language and Composition, you will hear about this program and you should apply. As for those with Compagnone or Sparta, this is your PSA to apply when you have the chance! Applications open around February. Keep in eye out!

If you have any questions about the program, feel free to go to Mrs. Hedges located in room 202A. She is the advisor for the Interact Club and has lots of detail on the whole process of the camp. Don’t know her? Ask some of the alumni of the camp! The alumni for this year included me (Brandon Truong), Retta Karpinski, and Ryan Lista. We’re all juniors and you might find us scattered around during lunch. We have plenty of stories!

Here’s the link for website:

Consider applying and I swear, you won’t regret it. I cried at the camp and it was beautiful. Catch you on the flipside!



bottom of page