Ready to lead Atlanta. My R.Y.L.A. experience.

C.J. Stewart: What does RYLA stand for?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: RYLA stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Award

C.J. Stewart: What is the mission of Rotary?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: The RYLA program is conducted on the district level by Rotarians to provide young people of their communities an opportunity to take part in developing qualities of leadership and good citizenship.

C.J. Stewart: Describe the trip with one word.

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: Exposure

C.J. Stewart: What surprised you the most about the trip?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: What surprised me the most about the trip was how the campers and counselors were so nice? Everybody got along at camp; it was like no one was ever mad.

C.J. Stewart: Who was the most interesting person that you met on the trip and why?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: The most interesting person I met on the trip was Camper Bull, our speaker. He told us how life growing up was for him. He has made a big influence on me to keep going in life. Camper Bull grew up as a dyslexic kid. A lot of people told him that he would not make it to high school or even graduate. But his mom stuck by his side and they did exercises to help him with his reading.

C.J. Stewart: What was the most interesting thing that you did on the trip and what did you learn from it?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: The most interesting thing I did on the trip was standing out from the crowd as a caring person. I was known as the person to lift up my teammates. I was very happy that I represented the Atlanta West End in a good way at R.Y.L.A.

C.J. Stewart: How was the food on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being terrible?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: The food was a 7 on the scale of 1-10.

C.J. Stewart: Who was the most attractive girl there?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: There were a lot of attractive girls there, but one girl on the purple team (whose name I can’t remember) was the most attractive girl on the trip.

C.J. Stewart: What are the top three leadership skills that you learned while you were there?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: Trust, Loyalty, and Teamwork.

Leadership exercise with Jeremiah at the bottom right
C.J. Stewart: Based on what you learned about RYLA, would you consider becoming a Rotarian? If yes, why would you like to become a Rotarian? If no, why would you not want to become a Rotarian?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: Based on RYLA I can see myself becoming a Rotarian because you are changing lives as a Rotarian. For example the Atlanta West End Rotary Club donated the money so I could attend this camp for free, and it has changed my life.

C.J. Stewart: Would you recommend that your peers attend RYLA? If yes, what are the top three reasons that you recommend it? If no, what are the top three reasons that you don’t recommend it?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: Yes, I recommend that my peers attend RYLA because they would learn so much and would be able to go back to their city and share what they have learned.

1. You will learn how to trust people more.

2. You will meet new people that are awesome.

3. You will have a lot of fun.

C.J. Stewart: How does RYLA help you fulfill L.E.A.D.’s mission of empowering an at risk generation to lead and transform their city of Atlanta?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: RYLA has helped me fulfill L.E.A.D.’s mission because I have been through activities and exercises that have improved my leadership skills and strengthened my core values: Excellence, Humility, Integrity, Loyalty, Stewardship, and Teamwork.

C.J. Stewart: How does RYLA help you to be a productive student-athlete at Maynard Jackson High School?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: As a student, RYLA has taught me how to approach and treat my teachers and how to be very responsible in and out of school.

As an athlete, RYLA has taught me how to trust my teammates through thick and thin. They have also taught me to stay committed.

C.J. Stewart: What college would you like to attend and what degree would you like to receive?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: I would like to attend Savannah State University. I would like to receive a degree in Sports and Fitness Management.

C.J. Stewart: What career path would you like to pursue after college?

Ambassador Jeremiah Williams: I have plenty of ideas to pursue after college such as having my own batting cages and having a job that I love (not hate). Whatever I choose, I hope to make it the best for me so I can make a lot of money and give back to my family and L.E.A.D. like they are doing for me now.

Jeremiah is an outfielder and catcher at Maynard Jackson High School, Atlanta Public Schools