Kitman Gill is the recipient of the 2012 Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) scholarship from the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club.
Rotary District 5470 held its Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) retreat weekend in late June at the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley Campus located near Glenwood Springs.
RYLA is a leadership development program for high school students. The program centers on an intense, professionally led, four-day leadership training retreat. The RYLA Retreat weekend provided a series of professionally developed presentations and activities that take participants through a process of assessing their personal leadership characteristics and understanding the ethics of leadership and setting personal goals.
Kitman will be a senior this year at Pagosa Springs High school where she is active in school activities including Destination Imagination, Knowledge Bowl, student council, drama club and Key club. Kitman had the opportunity to meet and build friendships with fellow student leaders from around the state. Rotary is based on a foundation that by allowing participants to get to know each other opens opportunities for service that will make communities better places to live, as well as to promote peace and better understanding worldwide.
When asked to describe her experiences at RYLA, Kitman said, “It was a terrific experience. I learned about the vast number of ways to be a leader and the many types of leadership. In a group of approximately eighty people who consider themselves to be leaders, it was difficult at first to find my footing and contribute, but through the weekend, I learned that the ability to follow is crucial for all leaders. Now, I not only have ideas on how to lead, but I know how to put what I learned into action. At the risk of sounding cliche, RYLA helped me learn to practice what I preach. I’ve always said I could lead; now I know how to.”