The Rotary Club of Chapel Hill has a strong tradition of supporting Youth Leadership programs. Three examples are the Ron Hyatt Awards, RYLA, and the Don Hayman RAD Speech Contest.
The Ronald W. Hyatt Rotary Public Service Award is given annually to UNC-Chapel Hill students (individually or in teams) in support of innovative public service projects that exemplify the motto of Rotary International, “Service above Self.” The award, sponsored by the Chapel Hill Rotary Club and admininstered by the Carolina Center for Public Service, is named for the late Dr. Ronald W. Hyatt, professor of Exercise and Sport Science at UNC-Chapel Hill and long-time member of the Chapel Hill Rotary Club, in recognition of his distinguished career at the University and his commitment to helping others.
Three awards were given in 2015: The United Solar Initiative, a student team partnership with Strata Sola to install a solar panel system on a school in Colocondo, Nicaragua, Refugee Youth Leadership and Empowerment, which provides support for local youth who are refugees to obtain training as professional interpreters in their native languages, and Classroom to Community, which recruits and trains volunteers from UNC Health Affairs graduate schools to provide health education for an underserved school in Durham.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a program that encourages servant leadership in youth by recognizing and rewarding deserving 11th grade students who are chosen to attend RYLA as an “award” for their past and present leadership and service activities. These select young people attend an all-expenses-paid camp where they are inspired by a diverse group of exceptional speakers, make life-long friends through fellowship activities, and discuss the ethical and social issues of today. These activities are conducted in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The result is that these students return to their schools and communities motivated to take on additional leadership roles and to find additional ways to serve.
The Don Hayman Rotary Against Drugs (RAD) High School Speech Contest was created by Don Hayman, a past district governor and former president of the Chapel Hill Rotary Club, as a forum for youths to speak out against drug use. Clubs sponsor students from local high schools to present to their clubs on an annual topic related to drug abuses. Club members serve as judges and pick the winning speeches, which receive cash prizes.