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Past is Prologue
 
For the past 11 months I have been honored to be the District Governor for Rotary District 7190 in the greater Capital Region.  Every year the entire leadership of Rotary transitions on July 1 – yes, the entire leadership changes, from top to bottom!  For a while I thought this was madness.  How could there ever be continuity?  What I have found instead is that new leadership installed annually brings a unique spark of energy and innovation to our cause.  It also places the emphasis on the cause, not on the personalities of leaders, and this – in and of itself – is the embodiment of our motto: Service Above Self.
 
We all indeed are fortunate to belong to an organization that values us each for whatever we can bring to the effort to help others. Service Above Self is not just a motto but a way of life for many of our Rotarians. I have been proud and inspired as I have met many Rotarians in our District, and it is clear to me that Rotary has the breadth to be meaningful and relevant to anyone who is broadly interested in serving humankind. 
 
Like all of us personally, and like all organizations, Rotary has been turned upside down since March.  The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused us all to rethink how we serve. Our face to face Rotary club meetings stopped abruptly. Conferences and conventions, indeed all opportunity to interact face to face, halted. Some of our Rotary clubs quickly picked up on Zoom and other means to communicate, and others came online after a bit.  Club service projects have been re-thought, and today Rotary is quickly becoming just as relevant – differently relevant – as before.
 
Rotary was made for a time such as this. Our local and international network of community minded people are mobilizing in our Clubs, our District and all over the world. The internet age has provided conflicting and confusing information, misinformation, and a plethora of negativity and suspicion about the motives and actions of leaders around the world. Yet humanity will survive, and Rotary is will play a role to ensure that humanity will also thrive. Rotary is uniquely equipped to be a major force in leading the world out of this crisis, and I know if you are reading this you desire to be part of the solution.
 
Rotarians will persevere.  We are dedicated, and we’re keen on including any and all who believe the unattainable can be attained.  Because everywhere you look you will see good people, kind people who will support you, help you, and nurture you if you but lead.
 
The next chapter for this experiment called Rotary is yet to be written, but if past is prologue, it will be spectacular.  We hope that tomorrow’s Rotary might include you as well.  Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about your future in Rotary. 
 
District Governor Larry Jones
RYLA is designed to grow leadership skills in students who have untapped leadership potential. Specifically, we are focusing on juniors in high school. Our program is not for the student who is already utilizing strong leadership skills or students who have no desire to develop such skills. 
 
District 7190 RYLA has been developed to help the committed student with untapped leadership potential. Through our program we will open up that potential and show the student the possibilities that are available to them. This has positive effects on many parts of the student’s life. They will gain self-confidence, add valuable skills that will serve them well into their future, and will teach another generation
about the ideals of Rotary.
 
 

Download the RYLA Program Guide

 
The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.

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