Liz Gabriel RYLA candidate 2013

Meeting on Monday 2 December 2013

Liz Gabriel our 2012 RYLA candidate

Liz Gabriel our 2012 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards  candidate

We had the great pleasure of welcoming our Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) candidate, Liz Gabriel, who came to the club with her mother Kate and her RYLA mentor Chris Aldred.

Liz is currently in the second year of her A level course at Roundhay School and is applying to universities to study physics. Her ambition is to be a research scientist. She applied to do the RYLA course because her career choice involves working in teams and she thought it would be helpful in that career if she were able to develop some leadership skills. Liz reported to us that she had benefited tremendously from the course, boosting her self confidence and learning how to work in, and lead, a team.

Liz gave us a very thoughtful and informative analysis of what the course had entailed, and what she had learned from it. We were treated to a power-point presentation involving photographs of her team of eight young men and women undertaking the various challenges, and she took us through each day of the course from rising at 6.30 am – and once 5.30 am – to lights out. We heard how her team went through activities such as the ice-breaker, involving rolling over each other while water was poured on them, from domestic duties each day, to bridge building, hashing through the forest, mountain rescue, boating on the canal, raft racing, a murder hunt, the overnight bivvy outside, and the talent show. She explained how the course was ‘experiential’, involving activities, reflecting on lessons learned with their mentor, and achieving change. She learned the value of clear leadership, delegating, making each member of the team feel valued, and also made some good friends.

Chris Aldred commented on how shy the RYLA candidates had been on arrival, doubting that they could be leaders. He saw a huge growth in confidence by the end of the week. He acknowledged that £500 – the price of a disaster box – is a big investment for Rotary to make in one individual, but confirmed that the RYLA course really does have the potential to change lives. RYLA takes 32 candidates on each course.

Liz gave an exceptionally able presentation. John Hartley gave the vote of thanks.

• Rotary Carol Service at Leeds Minster this Friday, 6 December. At least 12 club members and partners are going, and six from Leeds White Rose. Mince pies and mulled wine promised.
• Collection at Sainsburys Saturday 7 December. Derek has the rota, if there are any more volunteers
• The sherry reception following the Church service on Sunday 15 December is now at John and Helen Hartley’s house.
• NSPCC Quiz Night at St Edmund’s Church Hall is on Saturday 18 January 2014. Names to Derek to make up Rotary tables.