Kyra Coletta's experience as a Teenage-Germantown Rotarian

I recently had the great opportunity to be a delegate to the District 6800 RYLA conference (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) in Olive Branch, Mississippi. This annual three-day program helps high schoolers develop skills as young leaders in the community. I am a founding member and president of the Rotary Interact Club of Germantown—Rotary’s high school program. So this was an incredible chance to meet fellow juniors in North Mississippi and Shelby County who are inspired to do service and be leaders.


I also met Rotarians who have served the community through various projects for decades, and I received lots of insight regarding what juniors in high school can be doing in the community to make a difference. For example, partnering with the YMCA or even volunteering at hospitals.


Collaborating with other students across the district opened my eyes to the amount of creativity and initiative that my generation has! I walked out of the event inspired to elevate my strategies within my leadership roles in the community and motivated to inspire my peers to do the same.


One of the most valuable lessons I learned was the Five R's of Leadership:

  • Role Level, which means leading through a specific title (president, secretary, etc.)
  • Relationship Level, which allows you to build connections with others to lead them towards a common goal
  • Reward Level, which represents how someone can lead by winning and having established major successes
  • Reproduction Level, which allows a leader to teach and pass along their leadership roles and insight into the next generation
  • Respect Level, which you earn from others in a way that they still respect you whether they like your policies or not
Written by GMSD Ambassador Kyra Coletta.