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RYLA Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for the program?
8th grader in Murray State University's 18-county service region is
eligible for the program. Applications, available in the spring
semester, should be filled out by 7th grade students who will enter 8th
grade in the school year they apply for. The application review team is
looking for students who are ready to step up and be great leaders. You don't have to already be a strong leader to participate. You just need to have the passion and commitment to become the leader you know you can be.
What counties are in the Murray State University service region?
18 counties in MSU's service region, as mandated by the state, are
Carlisle, Hickman, Fulton, Ballard, Calloway, Graves, Marshall,
McCracken, Lyon, Livingston, Hopkins, Trigg, Henderson, Christian,
Caldwell, Union, Webster and Crittenden Counties.
Can homeschool students apply?
students are welcome to apply. They must be part of a homeschool
association. Two students from each homeschool association will be
chosen to serve as the team's student leaders.
What are the grade qualifications to be accepted to RYLA?
There is no minimum GPA, however students must be motivated and competent in order to successfully participate in the program. RYLA applicants must have a good record of attendance. They must
have signatures from their school administration that they have no
discipline or absentee problems. The applicant must receive the
signature of the school administration that they are mature enough to
complete the program.
What is the time commitment for RYLA?
should expect to meet once per quarter on Saturdays or in the evenings.
Students will not miss instruction time to participate in the program.
Activities range from visits to Murray State University to other
regionally significant locations to experience what makes west Kentucky
the unique place it is. Students must also meet independently of RYLA
meetings to work on their project. Students begin the project in the
fall of their 8th grade year, and they present their project in full in
the summer before their 9th grade year.
How much does it cost to participate?
and guardians are responsible for the cost of supplies for their final
presentation. They are also responsible for the cost of transportation
to and from field trips. Murray State University pays for the cost of
building rental, tours and other cultural opportunities during the field
trips. Murray State University pays for the cost of the overnight stay
on MSU's campus for the summer exhibition. Some meals are not provided
on field trips.
What is the parent/guardian involvement in RYLA?
and guardians are expected to arrange transportation for their student
leaders for each field trip. In addition, they are cordially invited to
attend some of the field trips, when room is available. Parents are
encouraged to participate in ice breaker games as well as to give
feedback on student projects. Students are responsible for the
brainstorming, research and presentation of their own project. Parents
should not do work for students, but encourage and support them while
students complete their own work.
What type of project will students produce?
leaders in the RYLA program will research and present a Project Citizen
presentation at the final project exhibition in the summer before their
9th grade year. For more information on the Project Citizen
requirements, please visit the "Info for students" tab on the RYLA
webpage. Students and parents will receive a formal training on the
program at the RYLA kick off in the fall of their 8th grade year.
Training comes from the state Project Citizen coordinator.
What do I do to apply?
Please visit the "Apply" tab on the RYLA webpage for more information.
Who is on my team if I'm accepted?
Two student leaders will be selected from each school district that
applies in the 18-county service region. Those two students then have
the option to choose up to three addition teammates. They do not have to
choose any teammates, if they'd like to work as a duo.
Do teammates attend RYLA field trips?
only student leaders attend the field trips. If there are opportunities
to host all teammates, coordinators will alert parents and students in
plenty of time to invite the teammates.
Why should I participate?
should consider participating if you want to meet new friends from
across west Kentucky, if you're interested in changing your community
for the better and if you want to make a better future for yourself.
Leadership is a great way to make the change you know your community
needs. You'll learn team building, critical-thinking, problem-solving,
innovation, conflict management and have lots of fun. This is a
wonderful resume builder for college and careers. We hope you'll apply!