AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
CHARACTER & LEADERSHIP
Keystone Club is The Boys & Girls Club Movement’s ultimate teen program.Keystone Clubs provide leadership development opportunities for young people ages 14 to 18. Youth participate in activities in three focus areas: academic success, career preparation and community service. With the guidance of an adult advisor, Keystone Clubs aim to have a positive impact on members, the Club and community.
BGCA hosts an annual National Keystone Conference for Boys & Girls Club teens that brings together members from all across the globe. Throughout the conference, Keystone members engage and socialize with peers, explore relevant issues, and develop skills to support and enhance efforts in their local Boys & Girls Clubs and communities.
Torch Clubs are chartered, small-group character and leadership clubs for boys and girls ages 11 to 13.
Torch Club is a “club within the Club,” helping to meet the special character-development needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their life.
A Torch Club is a powerful vehicle through which young people develop and strengthen their 21st-century leadership skills, giving them a firm foundation of good character and integrity. Torch Club members elect officers and work together to implement projects in the four focus areas: service to Club and community; education; health and fitness; and social recreation.
Youth of the Year
Youth of the Year is our signature effort to foster a new generation of leaders, fully prepared to live and lead in a diverse, global and integrated world economy.
In the 21st-century world and workplace, leadership skills such as communication, goal-setting and teamwork are essential for everyone – especially young people preparing to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood. With a grassroots beginning in 1947, Youth of the Year has evolved into a comprehensive leadership development program, which includes:
Youth of the Month – Leadership Recognition Program
Junior Youth of the Year – Leadership Readiness Program, and
Youth of the Year – Leadership Development Program
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Youth of the Month
Youth of the Month is a recognition program that focuses on acknowledging and making Club members aware of their own leadership abilities. Youth of the Month is a Club-driven experience that fosters leadership within the Club. Unlike many BGCA programs, which are implemented in two or three months of dedicated time, Youth of the Month is most commonly run on an ongoing basis over the course of a year. Youth of the Month is primarily a recognition program, but engaging in various leadership experiences is an important part of the program. Clubs have a great deal of flexibility in how they implement Youth of the Month, so specific activities and experiences may vary, but the focus is always on making Club youth aware of leadership abilities they might not think they possesses and cultivating them so that they learn what it means to be a leader.
Junior Youth of the Year
Distinct from the National Youth of the Year program, Junior Youth of the Year seeks to develop junior leaders ages 10-13 within the Club environment. The program fosters Club members’ emerging leadership abilities while preparing them for later participation in the Youth of the Year program. In addition to recognizing the leadership achievements of Club youth, Junior Youth of the Year also cultivates their leadership potential, providing the foundation they need for advanced leadership development, academic excellence and postsecondary success. Through this program, Club youth become motivated to seek opportunities for leadership and to act as responsible citizens and change agents.
National Youth of the Year
Each year, one exceptional Club member is selected to be the National Youth of the Year, serving as an ambassador for Boys & Girls Club youth as well as a voice for all of our nation’s young people. Over the decades, these individuals have exemplified the Boys & Girls Club mission and are proof to the impact Clubs make in transforming and saving kids’ lives. National Youth of the Year winners have achieved success in a variety of industries, including entertainment, politics, business and sports.
Becoming National Youth of the Year is an exciting and inspiring journey. Each year, thousands of Club teens participate in local, state and regional Youth of the Year events. Six teens, including five regional winners and a national military youth winner, advance to the National Youth of the Year Celebration, where one outstanding young person is named Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national teen spokesperson. The National Youth of the Year is a role model, leader and advocate for over 4.6 million youth served by Boys & Girls Clubs each year, and all of America’s young people.