Character & Leadership Development

Character & Leadership Development

Character & Leadership Development

By focusing on leadership and service to our community, club members will be better prepared to thrive as adults by contributing back to their communities and their nation.

We empower our youth to be leaders. We encourage them to become global citizens who support and influence their Club and community. Our members are educated in sustaining meaningful relationships with others, developing a positive self-image and respecting their own and other cultures.

Programs That Work

Youth of the Year
BGCA’s premier recognition program, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club members
Youth of the Year

Each year one exceptional young Boys and Girls Club member is selected to be the National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year serves as both an exemplary ambassador of Boys an Girls Club youth and as a strong voice for our nation’s young adults.

Disney, Toyota, University of Phoenix, and Taco Bell Foundation have helped Boys and Girls Clubs expand leadership development opportunities for more participants and scholarship funding for many deserving teens.

Youth of the Year participants embody the values of leadership, service, academic excellence, and healthy lifestyle. They also exemplify the impact that Boys and Girls Clubs has on young people.

As a result of our sponsors’ generosity, each state-level Youth of the Year, including regional military finalists, earns a $5,000 college scholarship. Each regional Youth of the Year, including regional military finalists, receive a $10,000 college scholarship (renewable up to four years). The National Youth of the Year winner receives a $25,000 scholarship (renewable up to four years).

Torch Club
teaching members to enrich their lives and the lives of others through service, leadership, and good character
Torch Club
Torch clubs are small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11-13. This program is a vehicle through which Club staff can help meet the unique needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their development. Torch club members learn to work together to plan and implement activities in four areas:
• Service to Club and community
• Education
• Health and fitness
• Social recreation

Examples of Torch club service activities include:
• Peer mentoring programs
• Adopt-a-grandparent programs
• Food and clothing drives
• Community clean-ups
• Environmental awareness campaigns 

Keystone Club
promote character and leadership qualities among Club teens and provide awareness in the areas of community service, academic success, career preparation, and outreach
Keystone Club
Keystone is BGCA’s premier teen leadership program. With the guidance of Club staff, teens are given opportunities to make leadership decisions, serve others, and engage in experiences that will help shape their knowledge of academic, career, community, and outreach projects and initiatives.

Members ages 14-18 are eligible for this program.
Million Members Million Hours of Service
encourages good character and appreciation of citizenship by providing year-round volunteer opportunities
Million Members Million Hours of Service
Million Members Million Hours of Service encourages good character and provides each Club member with the opportunity to further serve in their communities. Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s goal is to achieve one million members contributing one million hours of service this year.

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