Youth Service

One of Rotary's Five Avenues of Service
Rotary International wheel The Youth Service "Avenue" encompasses those things we do to enhance the lives of young people. This avenue include our scholarships, youth exchange program, the Interact Club of Newport and a variety of activities to help local youngsters.


Some of Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise's projects:

  • The Interact Club of Kona Sunrise
  • Support and help with the Hawaii island RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Academy) program
  • Scholarships


RYLA Program

RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Academy) is an intensive coed leadership training and development program. It is designed for 10th & 11th grade students from all Hawaii public and private high schools. It begins late afternoon on Friday and ends Sunday after lunch. It is sponsored by the Rotary Clubs on each island.

Some Students return to camp to become student assistant facilitators and each group or Ohana has a student and a Rotarian facilitator.

RYLA campers will experience a broad range of activities to encourage you to think about leadership principles and how you can apply them in your life. Adult Rotary Club facilitators and student Assistant Facilitators will take you through a variety of experiences. They include interactive games, physical activities and guided discussions on leadership topics that you can relate to. The program will empower and challenge you to be proactive in your school and community. RYLA slideshow:

Youth Exchange Program

Rotary Youth Service: Exchange student Mei from Tajikistan Exchange student Mei from Tajikistan. This young woman from Tajikistan plans to use her own education to change the lives of untold numbers of young women. Mehrangez, (whom you may also call Mei) was a 16-year-old junior at Konawaena High 4 years ago through a scholarship program called FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) with our US State Department. Mei's country, one of the poorest in central Asia, borders Afghanistan and China. After an eye-opening year in Hawaii, Mei returned to her country determined to become an educated young woman.

Last year, when Mei turned 19, she was already considered an "old maid." She had to give up her dream of education and was on the verge of being forced into an arranged marriage when her host family in Kealakekua created a community scholarship fund to bring her back to the US. Mehrangez traveled through Russia and arrived in Kona in December 2015. Her voyage had only just begun.

Mei has just finished her first semester of college at the new Palamanui campus off Ka'iminani Drive, earning 3 As and one B in a class where no one received an A. She was recently accepted to Milikin University in Decatur, IL with a generous merit scholarship. She was also accepted into their Long Vanderbilt program which recognizes high scholastic achievement and a commitment to diversity, leadership and community service. Mei has been awarded numerous local scholarships and is about to embark on the next part of her voyage. She is headed to Washington DC at the end of May for an AAUW conference on women's issues and then Summer School in Illinois before embarking on a potential career in global health. The local scholarship fund is working overtime to help make her dream a reality.

Back to Five Avenues of Service.