ROXBURY, NJ - Two Roxbury High School juniors this week thanked the Roxbury Rotary Club for choosing them to participate in a 3-day youth leadership program that took place at Drew University in Madison.

The students, Jess Grenott and Emily Mayor, attended the club’s weekly luncheon on June 22 and said the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) they appreciated being sent to the June 17, 18 and 19 event. “Being at RYLA was really a unique experience for me,” said Grenott. “We got to do a bunch of different leadership exercises … We learned a lot of things, got to meet a lot of new people and got to meet some really great roommates.”

The club paid $300 each for Mayor and Grenott to attend the program, said Roxbury Rotarian Steve Alford. “This year we had a lot of people who wanted to go and we picked Emily and Jess," he said. "What happens at RYLA is they go away to Drew University for a weekend and live in a dorm and learn a lot about leadership and, hopefully, about themselves.”

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Grenott was treasurer of the Roxbury High School Interact Club last year and is now vice president of the club, which serves as an arm of Rotary in the high school. “Jess is an extremely active member of the Interact Club,” Alford said. “She did some pretty heavy-duty things in our club this year that required a lot of ingenuity and thought and putting things together.”

Mayor, the Interact Club’s new president, overcame shyness through her club activities, according to Alford. At the RYLA training she was required to speak in front of others, he noted.

“All the presidents of the Interact Clubs had to make a speech,” she told the Rotarians. “You had to say how many people were in your club. I was like `400’ and they were like ‘Oh my God, that’s like the new record.’”

She said she spoke to the other RYLA attendees about her involvement in the recent Roxbury Color Fun Run, a yearly event organized by the Interact Club. Mayor also said some of the students at RYLA said their high schools “don’t even have an Interact Club.”