Ragsdale attends Rotary RYLA conference

Pictured are, from left, Jon Tilley, Morning Rotary President; Justin Crittenden, ITM Principal; Walker Ragsdale, ITM Student and RYLA Attendee; Donna Ragsdale, ITM Teacher; and Nancy Riley, Kerrville Morning Rotarian.

Ingram Tom Moore High School junior Walker Ragsdale recently participated in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference in New Braunfels. The Rotary Club of Kerrville-Morning (Morning Rotary) underwrote the expenses for Walker to attend the leadership training.

RYLA is a leadership development program for emerging leaders. Almost 200 participants from across Texas attended this year’s conference. Although the attendees are initially placed in groups with strangers, lasting friendships quickly emerge as they work through the conference sessions together.

Over the four days of the conference, participants learned leadership fundamentals and ethics, built their communication and conflict management skills, learned ways to serve their communities, and increased their world understanding. When asked about the most important leadership skill he learned at RYLA, Walker noted that listening to others ranked the highest.

Nancy Riley, Morning Rotarian, has served as the ITM Interact Club liaison for over a decade. The Interact Club is another way that Morning Rotary is providing opportunities for young adults to gain leadership experience.

“This year, our Interact Club didn’t have a sponsor, but we are working to secure a sponsor for the coming school year. An active ITM Interact Club will provide additional opportunities to support young people like Walker who are the leaders of tomorrow. Through participation in Interact and conferences like RYLA, young people are learning leadership fundamentals, ethics, communication skills, problem solving, and conflict management. We are proud to sponsor ITM Interact and are excited that Walker has expressed an interest in joining the club next year. We also express our gratitude to the administrators who have caught the vision and support our Interact Club,” said Riley.

"RYLA is an amazing camp from an amazing organization. It taught me a valuable life lesson, that you are never unqualified to conquer your dreams. Being with all the other students from around the state was a great experience," said Walker Ragsdale.

Justin Crittenden, ITM Principal was delighted that Walker had been afforded this opportunity. "Walker is one of many students the Morning Rotary has helped sponsor from ITM for years now. The RYLA conference was enjoyed by Walker and has been enjoyed and appreciated by all of our students in the past as well. We are thankful that the Morning Rotary Club partners with us on this event and we are excited about our future partnership opportunities," said Crittenden.

If you’re interested in fellowshipping over breakfast and enjoy serving the community, Kerrville Morning Rotary may be a fit for you. Guests are welcome to attend for a full breakfast at the KROC Center on Thursday mornings at 6:45 am.

For more information, visit www.kerrvillemorningrotary.org.

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