David Richardson, a student at Danville High School, spoke to St. Johnsbury Rotarians during the club’s weekly meeting Aug. 19 about his summer experience at RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), held June 21-23 at Northern Vermont University-Lyndon.

David described some of the leadership skills he learned, which involved several cooperation games to promote team work and team building, while gaining confidence. One of the activities for the weekend was a talent show, where David performed a stand-up comedy act.

During that weekend, RYLA attendees also boxed up food and necessities, to be shipped to a third world country.

David first became associated with Rotary through the school’s Interact Club during his freshmen year. The club evolved into the school’s Student Leaders Voice of Change, where students become immersed in community service. David has helped with volunteering at an animal shelter and doing a drive to collect products to assist in the care of the animals. He also volunteered at a homeless shelter, assisting with cooking and cleaning, as well as helping out at a senior citizen center.

David’s future goals include a life in politics; “I want to go into a political roll, and be an avid voice in politics … to be a true leader for the American people.”

Miranda Degreenia and Abigail des Groseilliers, both students at St. Johnsbury Academy, also represented St. Johnsbury Rotary Club at RYLA this year.

RYLA is Rotary’s leadership training program for young people. In District 7850, (Lyndonville’s and St. Johnsbury’s district) clubs focus on students who are completing their freshman or sophomore year of high school (approximately 14-16 years of age). RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth. For more information about RYLA in Rotary District 7850, go to www.ryla7850.com.

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