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Teens Build Character at Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

    The Rotary Club of Madison sponsored 11 teenagers from James Clemens, Bob Jones and St. John Paul II Catholic high schools and Madison and Westminster Christian academies to attend the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA).  All clubs in Rotary District 6860, which covers North Alabama were eligible to sponsor scholars.  This year, 106 sophomores, juniors and seniors attended and stayed on-site at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.

    The program’s guest speakers featured State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw; Al Mathis, whose grandfather wrote the Four-Way Test; Tony McGinnis of the Harris Home; and Stephen Black from Impact Alabama.

    District RYLA chairperson Karen Morris said the event exposed scholars to Rotary’s Four-Way Test: “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships?  Will it be beneficial to all concerned?  One event goal is to convince participants to make correct choices by basing decisions on the this test.  “The choices may not always be the easiest but will always be correct,” Morris said.  “Another goal is to impact scholars to know that we all need to serve and give back to the community.”

    A new feature for 2015 was “Rachel’s Challenge,” an anti-bullying program that discussed conflict resolution and how to treat peers.