“I actually have started making my bed in the mornings, and my mom asked, ‘What’s with this?’ I simply told her if I want to change the world I have to start with making my bed. It gives me a feeling of organization and accomplishment and I’m now ready for the day.”
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley High School senior Brittney Wolter, said this after attending the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program along with Molly Massar, also a WHA senior.
Both are WHA Rotary Interact students who spent a week at RYLA at the University of Minnesota campus in Crookston. RYLA is an insightful week for juniors and seniors from 22 high schools in Canada, North Dakota and Minnesota.
The students are divided into small groups of six to eight members and are each given a family name. They work together as a family the entire week.
They start out writing the ground rules that are expected to be observed by everyone. Kindness and respect head the chart as more expectations were accepted and written.
The Rotary organizers encouraged participation and responses to the work to be done, and most importantly to smile and have fun.
Massar said that she had so much fun solving problems presented to her family that had to be accomplished in a non-verbal manner. She also enjoyed setting up school backpacks filled with food for less fortunate students to take home on weekends.
“That was very emotional to be helping the children,” Massar said
“They wanted us to get out of our comfort zone in order to reflect on yourself and help you grow,” Wolter said. “And it was really worth it.”
At the end of the week each family did a skit as if it was 10 years in the future.
Many words of encouragement came throughout the week including: “Begin a job with the clear understanding of what you want to accomplish. Sounds simple, but do it anyway; be happy when you’re working as it can help you be more empathetic towards others; seek first to understand before you attempt to be understood.”
RYLA week gave the students confidence to get in front of a group such as the Walker Rotary Club to talk and demonstrate the many opportunities presented to them in their award-winning week.
The WHA Interact Club is a service organization open to all ninth- through 12th-grade WHA students. They perform many community service projects mostly relating to the school.
For more information, contact Katelin DeLorenzo, Interact coordinator, at (218) 547-4294, facebook.com/walkerrotaryinteract or Instagram:@walkerrotaryinteract