Rotaract originally began as a Rotary International youth program in 1968 at Charlotte North Rotary Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, and has grown into a major Rotary-sponsored organization of over 5820 clubs spread around the world and 133,000 members. It is a service, leadership and community service organization for young men and women between the ages 18–30. Rotaract focuses on the development of young adults as leaders in their communities and workplaces. Clubs around the world also take part in international service projects, in a global effort to bring peace and international understanding to the world. Rotaract provides an opportunity for young men and women to enhance the knowledge and skills that will assist them in personal development, to address the physical and social needs of their communities, and to promote better relations between all people worldwide through a framework of friendship and service.
“Rotaract” stands for “Rotary in Action.” Most Rotaract activities take place at the club level. Rotaract clubs hold formal meetings, usually every two weeks, which feature speakers, special project work, social events, or professional/leadership development workshops.
The Eureka Club chartered the Lost Coast Rotaract Club on February 3, 2010, during Carlton Nielson’s presidency, and the first president was Klark K. Swan.
RYLA aims to:
- Demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth
- Provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders
- Encourage leadership of youth by youth
- Publicly recognize young people who are rendering service to their communities
Every RYLA program covers the following core topics:
- Fundamentals of leadership
- Ethics of positive leadership
- Importance of communication skills in effective leadership
- Problem-solving and conflict management
- Rotary’s purpose and service to the community
- Building self-confidence and self-esteem
- Elements of community and global citizenship