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Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about YES! 

If you have additional questions that aren’t answered, please email us at


Who is putting on this event?

YES! is a joint project of the three Simi Valley Rotary Clubs:

The Rotary Club of Simi Valley

The Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise

The Rotary Club of Simi Sunset

and the five Conejo Valley Rotary Clubs:

The Rotary Club of Conejo Valley

NextGen Rotary

The Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks

The Rotary Club of Westlake Village

Westlake Village Sunrise Rotary


What is Rotary?

Rotary International is a worldwide organization of 1.2 million business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Rotary men and women belong to more than 32,000 clubs in more than 200 countries.

The main objective of Rotary is service - in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians develop community service projects that address many of today's most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, illiteracy, and violence. Rotarians also support numerous leadership and personal development programs for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals, and vocational and career development. The Rotary motto is “Service Above Self”. More information can be found at


What is YES!?

YES! stands for Youth Empowerment Summit. It’s an intensive one-day distillation of a long running Rotary program called RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards:  Students will be challenged, encouraged and inspired by amazing motivational speakers, passionate instructors and dedicated counselors.  

Sessions include Teambuilding, Diversity, Ethics and Leadership. While RYLA is specifically for students who have already demonstrated academic excellence and leadership potential, YES! is open to all high school students no matter their educational goals or family background or current academic status.  YES! exists to encourage and inspire students to unlock their full potential and expand their perception of who they can be and what they can accomplish.


How much does it cost?

YES! is completely free! It’s paid for by fundraising events put on by the members of the 3 Rotary Clubs in Simi Valley.

Besides supporting YES!, proceeds from these events help support projects locally, nationally and internationally.

If you or your company would like to help support YES!, or sponsor any of these events, please contact us at

Is this only for students attending Simi Valley Unified School District? Who can attend?

No.  YES! is open to all high school students in the Simi Valley, Moorpark and Conejo Valley area: public, private and home schooled. Students outside of this area can apply but may need to be put on a waiting list. Local students will be given priority.


Can students attend more than once? 

They will be put on a waiting list and if there is space, YES! (They will need to be observers, along with the counselors, during the teambuilding exercises)


Is it religious? (Why is registration at a church?)

No. Rotary clubs meet weekly and are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.

Simi Covenant has been gracious enough to allow us to use their parking and also their facilities as a backup site in case of adverse weather.


Where is it being held?

At the Brandeis-Bardin Campus in Simi Valley.


Can we drop them off or pick them up at Brandeis-Bardin ourselves?  

No.  Parking is limited at Brandeis-Bardin.  Students will be taken by bus to the site. This helps give the event the feel of a retreat and builds camaraderie as well as allows us to have better control of the students whereabouts.


It’s an all day program? They can’t leave early or come late? 

The program is an intensive program that is designed to be an all day event. Participants must commit to the complete experience.


What should I bring?  

YES! is held outdoors in a rustic park setting.  Closed toed shoes are recommended.  Dress appropriately for the forecast weather: in layers with a jacket or sweatshirt for the evening.  Most of the sessions are shaded, but may want to bring lip balm & sunscreen. 


What shouldn’t I bring?

Radios, computers, ipads/tablets, weapons, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs (RX drugs should be given to a counselor)


Is food provided?

A continental breakfast will be provided at registration, as well as lunch and dinner. Water and snacks will be available throughout the day.  Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options will be provided. If a student has any special dietary needs, please let us know.


Are Phones allowed?  

We want the students to engage with the instructors, their counselors and the other students attending the event. So we would encourage the students to leave their phones at home or in their cars. . (We will provide emergency contact #’s for parents to reach YES! staff members prior to the event) If they do bring them, we ask that they be kept put away.  At appropriate times we will encourage using them for photos. If  they become a distraction they will be confiscated until the end of the event (Phones are available for emergency purposes)


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