Regional Youth Leadership Organization

The Regional Youth Leadership Organization (RYLO) was established shortly after 9/11, to cope with issues and feelings among students in area schools. The Regional Crisis Team, under the leadership of Putnam/Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) Guidance and Child Study Center, organized this group. RYLO members meet on a regular basis since that time with representation from the P/NW regional high schools. RYLO’s mission is to help create safe schools, promote student leadership and foster community bonds between school districts.

Student leaders now take leadership of the group. The purpose of this group is to formulate activities to help others from their own school and our region - student to student. The RYLO group will participate in and help develop programs sponsored through the $480,000 federal Emergency Response and Crisis Grant awarded to our BOCES.

On October 4, 2004 our Regional Youth Leadership Organization co-sponsored a student leadership forum which was funded through our Safety Grant. Over 150 student leaders from all 18 of our area high schools plus the Tech Center, JFK, and Lakeland Alternative High School attended. Dr. Jim Langlois, former P/NW BOCES District Superintendent, welcomed all. As keynote speaker David Levine stressed that the role of student leaders is to care and nurture fellow students and maximize the involvement of all – not just a group of few. Students then went to workshops highlighting and clarifying these ideas and planned activities to increase tolerance and inclusion.

This year RYLO is supporting several community service projects. RYLO is participating in Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless Food Drive in December and the Quest for Peace Clean Out Your Locker Drive to help students in Nicaragua in June. RYLO students are also pursuing volunteer opportunities at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla and the Stone Barns Center in Pocantico Hills.