The Downtown Rotary Club of Victoria hosted a dinner on April 19 at Frances Marie’s Restaurant for the two of our sponsored Victoria East High School eRYLA students - Seth Stines, a Trailblazer, and Grant Biles, a Camper.  This was the first opportunity the entire Club had a chance to meet with the students in person.  In our meeting, the students shared their feedback on this year’s virtual RYLA Conference.
As a Trailblazer, Seth Stines benefited from the Clarity segment of the eRYLA agenda, where he had the opportunity to discuss the things that were challenging for him with other participants. Since being involved with eRYLA for two years, he used all of his learnings to narrow his career/academic focuses, which has led him to be accepted into a Texas Tech Program matching those objectives. Another outcome of his eRYLA experiences is an increased interest in volunteerism and is already making plans for a service project to be completed this year.
As a Camper, Grant Biles said his experiences from eRYLA will help him with making decisions to narrow his field of study. His favorite portion of the agenda was the time spent solving the assigned puzzles because he enjoyed working as a team searching for solutions.
Both found that they had built friendships with the other participants and facilitators, creating a network of peers for the future.  For these Victoria students, eRYLA created some challenges, since it was held during an active school week.  With soccer practice, homework, and eRYLA, they “humorously” reflected that eating took a backseat during the program. Both Seth and Grant gave high scores for this year’s eRYLA experience and look forward to opportunities to participate in 2022.