Dana Hutchings is 16 years old and a junior at Douglas County High School. She plans to become a Youth Minister as well as a missionary and wants to go to college and Major in Sports medicine to be a physical therapist and Minor in Ministry and education. Her vision is to “Speak Love, Speak Life and Speak God” into young America.
This past summer Dana was selected to participate in Rotary’s “Rotary Youth Leader Awards”, RYLA. The RYLA event was structured as a summer camp where the participants worked with presentations, activities and workshops that covered:
· Leadership fundamentals and ethics
· Communication skills
· Problem solving and conflict management
· Community and global citizenship
I asked her some questions about her experience with the world of today’s young leaders so far.
What does leadership skills mean to you?
· Leadership means first, being able to not only lead but be able to inspire, mentor and install hope in people. It means being able to see the good in bad situations and to think outside of the box; Also being able to accept ideas from other people and know when to let someone else take charge.
Why do you think it is important for the youth to be educated in leadership?
· It is important because we are the up and coming, we cannot always trust and depend on older people because they do not see the world through our eyes. I feel our generation has so many ideas and additions we would like to give to the world but lack the confidence in our words because we are so dependent on the elders and their thinking.
What did you learn during RYLA?
· I learned that my opinion does matter despite what society makes me believe. I learned that not only I but my generation has the voice and the thoughts that change lives forever and I also learned that it is okay to trust even though society looks down on it and makes you think otherwise. But faith and trust in oneself is most important.
Why would you recommend other young people to experience RYLA or alike programs?
· RYLA had a huge effect on my life in terms of helping me find my calling, Ministry. It gave me the confidence to speak my heart and mind. There, they tell you things but take you to drastic measures to prove their point and to make you believe in yourself and your team. Also it took away the boundaries and untied us as one. One family, one team with one goal; success! And we stopped at nothing until we got it. It helps create character through perseverance and struggle.
How do you think the world leaders will be in 20 years?
· I think that since the youth today is so different in so many ways that we will be able to connect with people on their different levels. We have the visionaries and the missionaries all willing to work hard. Yes, I believe more down to earth and more experience because now we see what is effective and what is not and have a free opportunity to change it for the better. I cannot wait to see how we will change the world. I am so excited!
By Freja Vulff