May 1, 2019

Bringing a Young Leader from Venezuela to RYLA

After learning of Raul’s story, members of our Rotary E-Club of Wall Street (ReCWS) were determined to bring Raul to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) in Washington, D.C. this summer. Our efforts have been matched by additional generous support from others in Rotary District 7230, including the Rotary Club of Metro New York City, the Rotary Club of New York and other Rotarians.
We look forward to continuously investing in Young Leaders as we connect the world through Rotary. If you wish to make a contribution, please know that you will be helping future young leaders like Raul in attending important leadership development trainings such as RYLA.

New York, NY, May 2, 2019 — Raulinson Reaño is a Founding member and current President of the Interact San Sebastián in District 4380 of Venezuela. Interact— a Rotary program— brings together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of “Service Above Self”. Raul’s 70-member Interact Club has demonstrated this power by doing a number of volunteer activities over the past months ranging from helping the community to supporting Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign.

Raul (2nd from right) and his fellow Interact members hosted a Human Rights event in their city, and shared what Interact does to try make the world and Venezuela a better place to live.

Raul has shown exemplary behavior an an innate role as a leader.

Raysa Yolima Ruiz Mendoza, 2018-19 President of Rotary San Sebatian, District 4380 (recommendation)

At the young age of 17-years old, Raul is a high school graduate and first-year Law student at Catholic University of Tachira. In addition to leading his Interact Club and enjoying local friendships, Raul also participates in the Models of United Nations in Venezuela.

Unfortunately, Venezuela has a problem caused by politics which has led to consequences affecting Rotary’s Rotaract and Interact programs in the country.

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is one opportunity unavailable to those in Venezuela and South America. RYLA is an intensive leadership experience organized by Rotary clubs and districts where you develop your skills as a leader while having fun and making connections. This opportunity is not available in South America, and Membership in Raul’s district cannot afford for him to attend RYLA North America given the environment of the country.

“The experience of attending the RYLA North America Conference will be a great opportunity for personal training and development for Raulinson.”

Alberto A. Camacaro Zerpa, District Governor 2018-19, District 4380

Determined to develop as a leader, Raul reached out to the Rotary E-Club of Wall Street with his proposal. That same day, our Club President Jan Holz returned Raul’s message with a phone call and learned the inspiring work Raul was doing on the ground. In true Rotary spirit, Rotarians joined together and raised enough funds to support Raul’s trip to D.C. this July! This exciting success was made possible with the generosity and collaboration of Rotarians and Rotary Clubs including the Rotary Club of Metro New York City and the Rotary Club of New York.

“Rotary supports future leaders to have a positive impact in their community and the world. In my eyes, by investing in Raul, we invest in the future of Rotary!”

Jan Holz, 2018-19 President of Rotary E-Club of Wall Street, District 7230

Raul is set to be the only representative from his District 4380 at this important event in Washington. The knowledge he gains from the training will be multiplied as he shares his experience with the other young people in his community.

We are grateful for the support shown by our fellow Rotarians who share the same values. Together, we are investing in youth and connecting the world. If you wish to make a contribution to this cause, please know that you will be helping future young leaders like Raul in attending important leadership development trainings such as RYLA. Please contact Jason Gonzalez at for any questions.