Junior Attends Leadership Camp

Yessica Lira learns communication and people skills at three-day retreat.


Photo Courtesy of Yessica Lira

Yessica Lira, Writer

The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Camp is a 3-day annual leadership camp held each February that allows campers to explore their abilities and values and discover how to work with others. The camp was held in Corpus Christi, Texas February 1 – 3.

Every year, one student is selected from our campus to attend the annual camp. This year, junior Yessica Lira attended and shares her experience with The Memorialist.

Leading up to the camp I was extremely nervous as I wasn’t going to know anyone attending, but once I arrived I realized everyone was feeling the same. Making friends at RYLA was a lot easier than one would expect and the bond between each team was entirely new to everyone.

I was in team blue and all 12 of us were put through academic and physical challenges.  The games were meant to help us utilize our individual strengths and communication styles within our team. The activities allowed us to develop leadership skills that we could apply to our everyday lives.

In order to “live in the moment” our phones were taken away so that we were able to learn what it really means to communicate with people and not be distracted by the outside world.

I met a lot of students that share the same stress and challenges that I do. This was a good way to escape for the weekend.

What I learned is that there are a bunch of different types of people and personalities that require patience and communication strategies. We all have barriers and understand things differently, this camp taught me how to deal with that.

RYLA was a life-changing experience that both brought pure bliss to me and made me understand that each and every one has something to contribute to our communities.

If you are interested in participating next year, sophomores can contact their academic counselors.