Rotary Club hears youth presentations

LEWISTOWN — Rotary Youth Leadership Awards offered a Mifflin County High School senior the opportunity to learn about the importance of teamwork and leadership.

Hannah Bonson, 17, gave Rotary Club of Lewistown a presentation about the week she spent participating in RYLA events during the club’s regular meeting Tuesday.

Throughout the week-long seminar, which had events in areas like Shaver’s Creek and Raystown Lake, Bonson said she learned about what it takes to make a good leader through team building exercises.

“We got to learn how a good leader operates, what good leadership qualities are and how being in a team is extremely important,” she told Rotarians.

“I learned that you can’t work alone,” she said. “I also learned that you have to listen to everybody…Often times the quiet ones in the room are the ones that have the best ideas.”

One project she was involved with, she said, was called the Red Sand Project, in which her group learned about human trafficking, how to educate others on it and how to spread awareness.

As part of the project, she said her group conducted a social media challenge to help survivors understand they have a support system.

Bonson said she also learned that it was important to relax. “You can’t expect to get everything done without taking a nice break,” she noted.

“I learned so much from RYLA and I think it’s important that others experience this, too. It gave me so many more opportunities to learn how to be a better leader and be a better person,” Bonson said.

Bonson plans to attend Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., to major in biology.

Also presenting Tuesday was 11-year-old Drake Goss, who took first place in the fifth and sixth grade division in the Mifflin County Science and Technology Fair, which Rotary Club of Lewistown sponsors.

Goss told Rotarians he presented a project on Maglev, a system that uses magnets to repel and push a train off a track.

Goss also took home $350 for his efforts. He said he would like to pursue a career in marine biology.