(Lake Township, Ohio) – Isabella (“Izzy”) Armentrout, Lake High School junior, learned all about what it means to be a leader when she was chosen to attend a Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) weekend conference held late last month at the Avalon Inn in Warren, Ohio.
She joined approximately 90 other selected high school juniors similarly representing other Rotary Clubs from various Rotary Clubs from across northeastern Ohio. Isabella represented the new Lake Township Rotary Club now in the final steps of organizing. Rotary District 6650 generously provided the funds to pay for Izzy’s participation in the event, while the Canfield Rotary provided the RYLA spot for Izzy (only 100 spots are available.)
In a follow-up thank you note that Izzy e-mailed to Lake Middle High School Principal Dan Harold after she returned home, she wrote “I can’t thank you enough for picking me to attend the Rotary Conference. I had so much fun and learned so much about myself, communication, and leadership. I met so many new people and gained some new friends who I think I will definitely see again in the future. The lessons that we learned about self-reflection really changed the way I think about myself and other people,” Izzy began.
“The facilitators were so down-to-earth, encouraging, and sometimes I couldn’t stop laughing! I will remember these past three days and plan on going back as a facilitator someday to help out. This conference really pushed me to be my best self and the best leader that I can be – to set an example for others to make their dreams a reality. It reassured the hope in my generation because I believe we can change the world in a way that benefits every single one of us. I can’t stop talking about how great it was! I am so grateful!”
During a Lake Township Rotary luncheon March 13, 2019, Izzy was the guest speaker and reviewed her RYLA weekend.
She said she enjoyed all three extremely busy days of the event. She met the other high school participants and participated in an icebreaker activity, watched TED Talks, enjoyed good meals at the host location, and learned about behavioral styles. She also participated in group activities, learned about the Pillars of Character (Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, Citizenship), was involved in skits, team challenges, and various activities and games relating to verbal and nonverbal communications, listening and compromise, ”star power,” and developing an understanding of different generations.
Finally, on the last day of the conference, Izzy and all the other participants wrote a personal mission statement; each shared their statement during the closing ceremony. Izzy’s statement was By always being my authentic self, I inspire other people to have confidence and achieve their goals that make them happy. “We did this towards the end of the conference (the last day) in order to leave us with something personal to us,” said the junior.
Izzy summed up her Rotary luncheon presentation by saying in addition to receiving a certificate as an RYLA participant, she most importantly learned about leadership and communication, made new friends from other school districts, and benefited from self-reflection lessons that will help her to become her best self, and help make her dreams come true.