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Four GCHS students receive 2022 Rotary Youth Leadership Award

Greensboro, Ga. – Four students from Greene County High School were selected to receive the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) and participate in Leadership Camp at Tallulah Falls School in May 2022. The Rotary Club of Greene & Putnam Counties sponsored 10th graders Laryous Burt, Andrew Mauriello, and Henry Mitchell, and 11th grader Tiejah Darby to join in the regional event, which was attended by more than 70 youth from around North Georgia.

The RYLA awards are presented to young adults with proven leadership ability and a commitment to community service. The RYLA Leadership Camp is a four-day intensive leadership experience where students can develop their leadership skills while having fun and making connections. 

By participating in various activities, students practice building their communication and problem-solving skills, discover strategies for becoming dynamic leaders in their schools and communities, and learn from community leaders and inspirational speakers. Through RYLA, young people from different backgrounds—home, educational, religious, and lifestyle—are brought together to work, learn, and discuss the issues that exist within their generation. 

Mitchell said he made lots of new friends at RYLA camp that he has kept in contact with. Mauriello reported that he learned more about being a leader and being authentic. “I learned to just be myself and not care so much about what other people think,” he said.

Darby says she learned that she had to see things from other people’s points of view, that not everyone comes from the same mindset you do. “People come from different experiences and have been through different things in their lives,” she said, “and that changes how they see things, so everyone doesn’t have the same perspective.”

While at camp, students also had fun adventures such as zip lining, white water rafting, and hiking in the north Georgia mountains, many of which were new experiences. “We had a great time rafting,” Mitchell said. “We had never done that before!” The students agreed that the RYLA Leadership Camp was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.