The Interact Club of Montserrat is proud to announce their participation in the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) that was recently hosted in Antigua & Barbuda. On Saturday January 14th, a thirteen (13) member delegation, accompanied by two (2) chaperones from the Rotary Club of Montserrat, attended the event hosted by the two Rotary Clubs in Antigua: The Rotary Club of Antigua and the Rotary Club of Antigua Sundown. This event saw the attendance of over 100 young people between the ages of 14 and 30 taking part in professional and social development training, aimed at cultivating future leaders.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards is an international leadership programme coordinated by Rotary Clubs around the globe each year. It was developed as an experiential live-in programme designed to help young people develop their teamwork and communication skills and fulfill their potential as leaders. Annually, Rotary Clubs in their respective countries jointly organize this leadership training for their youths in their community. This year, with an invitation extended to Interact Clubs in both Montserrat and St. Kitts & Nevis, the Interact Club of Montserrat elected to attend the in-person seminars hosted at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.
In 2019, the Rotary Club of Montserrat hosted it’s first and only RYLA at the Little Bay Sports Centre. At this event, 26 young leaders from the Cadet Corp, Youth Parliament, the Montserrat Secondary School Student Leadership, and the Interact Club of Montserrat benefitted from training.
The Rotary Club of Montserrat’s New Generations Committee Leader and Chaperone to the delegation, Siobhan Tuitt stated: “"This was a great opportunity for our young people here in Montserrat to experience some great speakers, be exposed to discussions on some key topics affecting them today, and to network with other young people in Antigua & Barbuda. Locally, Rotary constantly works with our Interactors to ensure they're exposed to career and social development opportunities, but Antigua & Barbuda's RYLA really gave them a crash course for their personal growth."
The 2023 RYLA boasted an impressive line-up of facilitators, including: Tian Winters, Entertainer, who offered input on ‘Gang Violence’, Stacy Cabrall, Tourism and Hospitality Manager and a University Lecturer, who detailed ‘Dining Etiquette’, and the Team Antigua Rowers, Travis Weste and Joseph Nunes, who offered their experiences on ‘Rowing the Atlantic’. Initially listed on the programme of speakers was Prime Minister of Grenada, the Hon. Dickon Mitchell, and Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, Dr. the Hon. Terrence Drew.
President of the Interact Club of Montserrat, Dominick Archer noted “This RYLA experience, though it was brief, was very educational, enjoyable and was also the perfect opportunity to make connections with other clubs in our district. We learned about bullying and the different forms that it presents itself in as well as the effects that it can have on persons. The other segment that we were present for was manners and etiquette, where we learned what the difference between the two were and the proper way that things should be done. Over all it was wonderful experience and we would love to do something like this again soon.”
The Interact Club of Montserrat was chartered in 1994 by their sponsor club, the Rotary Club of Montserrat. Interact is a youth club under the Rotary International umbrella that brings together young people between the ages of 12-18 who are interested in becoming leaders within their school and community. Humanitarian skills are developed, while they take-action and enjoyment through service. The community club currently features a membership of over 40 students from both the Montserrat Secondary School and the Montserrat Community College.
This year’s attendance at RYLA was made possible by key sponsors such as the Bank of Montserrat Ltd., Fly Montserrat, The Office of the Premier, and the Department of Community, Youth, and Sports Services (DCYSS).
The Interact Club of Montserrat would like to offer special thanks to Assistant Governor, Mrs. Evangeline Allen, as well as both the Rotary Club of Antigua and the Rotary Club of Antigua Sundown, and the five (5) Interact Clubs in Antigua & Barbuda for their support and hospitality during RYLA.