Christian Fisher Shares His RYLA Experience

Our weekly speaker on September 27 was Mr. Christian Fisher, who was sponsored by Rotary of Atlanta West End in 2019 as our annual Rotary Youth Leadership Award recipient. As our RYLA student, Christian spent a week in June on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia, exploring leadership with teens from all over the state. Christian first contrasted the quiet, if not uneasy, air during the long bus ride to RYLA with people who did not know each other with the enthusiastic and friendly exchanges that took over almost immediately once students from throughout District 6900 arrived. He described the program as being about character building and leadership development, which included getting to know other people from various backgrounds. He mentioned that RYLA used a variety of games and speakers to make important points about how to become a better and stronger person. He told of the scariness of the trust fall where kids would fall backwards off a platform to be caught safely by kids in two rows. Christian said that because he’s so tall he had doubts that the other kids could actually catch all of him. Nevertheless, he fell backwards, and it worked. He stressed overcoming fears and not being afraid to ask questions. The entire campus of RYLA totaled about 125 students, who were divided into smaller groups distinguished by colors, with Christian on the turquoise team. When asked about other memorable experiences he mentioned a speech by Camper Bull, as well as the team oriented programs aimed at enabling youth to overcome obstacles.These helped him think about having confidence to accomplish things that no longer seemed impossible. Camper Bull urged all to develop top-notch relationships with good people who can put one in a position to learn good things from others that one might not see in oneself. Finally, Christian mentioned that he’s now becoming a part of Black Rhinos, which is for African American males and supports better listening skills, SAT test taking skills, and helps students learn the ropes of good public speaking.

Posted by Neil Shorthouse
September 27, 2019 2:00pm