The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (“RYLA”) is a program for young people that was officially adopted by Rotary International in 1971.  Conducted on a district level, RYLA offers Rotarians a special opportunity to take part in developing qualities of leadership and good citizenship among the young people of their communities.  
District 7070, which comprises Rotary clubs from Belleville to Toronto, has conducted RYLA programs continuously for many years.  RYLA is a life-changing experience for young people aged 19 - 25. Each club may sponsor qualified individuals to attend a one-week leadership training program, all expenses paid.  
The District 7070 RYLA program, “Leadership Begins With Me”, provides an opportunity for the participants to get to know themselves better and to cultivate the respect and trust of others.  They are able to identify their own leadership skills and determine ways to make more effective use of their resources.  Their enthusiasm and technique is brought back to the community from which the participants were sponsored, and thus impacts on the young people being influenced by these youthful leaders.  
RYLA introduces a large number of young people and their families to the Rotary ideals of service each year.  It helps bridge the communication gap between the generations and helps improve relationships among youth groups, families and the community.  RYLA also has been instrumental in the formation of Rotaract clubs and complements all other Rotary youth activities.