VHS student attends RYLA event

Published 4:44 pm Monday, March 13, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

VERBENA — Verbena High School student Ja’Starza White Jr. attended this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Award event at Camp ASCCA’s Easter Seal Camp in Jacksons’ Gap.

The three-and-a-half-day event focused on team and leadership building activities.

“It really did enhance my current leadership skills, like how to communicate effectively, how to lead a group of people and to be successful,” White said.

One team building activity was trying to form a square as a group with rope, while blindfolded and listening to the leader.

Some of White’s favorite activities were the zipline and a financial simulation.

“You had to climb up the wall to get to the top [of the zipline], but while you are climbing you also had to listen to what your team leader and other people were giving you of suggestions to make it to the top.”

During the financial simulation, Credit Abuse Resistance Education Program representatives taught students about properly managing money. Students were given a monthly paycheck after insurance and taxes, then given suggestions on what else to pay for.

“It really opened my eyes to how to spend money in the real word, and not just spend it on things that you don’t need,” White said.

However, White said the Rotary Four-Way test is what had the biggest impact. The four-way test is ” Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”

“Each situation that comes up now I would try to apply the four-way test to see what the outcome would be before I make a decision,” White said.

The importance of having eye contact when giving a speech was also a major take away for White.

Rotarian Gordon Swenson said RYLA is designed “to help the students achieve the most they can later in life.”

“It’s to bring together juniors and seniors in the district,” Swenson said. ” Each Club has the opportunity to send as many students as it wants.”

Swenson said the club works with counselors at local schools to decide who to offer the opportunity to. This year White was the only local student to attend the event.

The Rotary Club of Chilton County is a part of Rotary District 6680.