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Two young girls sitting on a sofa in a Boys & Girls Club location

Character and Leadership

Overview of the Program

Our members learn to support and influence their Club and community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image, and respect the cultural identities of themselves and others. Our Club leadership programs allow members to practice and improve their decision-making skills. The nationally chartered Torch Clubs and Keystone Clubs are complemented by Club programs developed to support specific membership needs.

Keystone Clubs

A group of Keystone Club members standing in a line

Our Keystone Clubs consist of dynamic leaders, between the ages of 14-18, who devote their time to leadership and service in their communities. Each Keystone Club elects their own officers and implements their own activities in three focus areas: academic success, career preparation, and community service.

Two Torch Club team members on a swing at a playground

Torch Clubs

Torch Clubs are leadership and service Clubs for our younger members, ages 11–13. The goal of Torch Club is to instill qualities of tolerance, civic duty, community involvement, and leadership that promote an appreciation for the responsibilities of citizenship and the democratic process. Torch Club members learn to elect officers and work together to plan and implement community service activities, educational opportunities, health and fitness projects, and social recreation. These members also participate in service-learning experiences through the National Torch Club project.

Youth of
the Year

A Youth of the Year Club member holding a Boys and Girls Club trophy

Club members who exemplify our core values and meet rigorous eligibility requirements for academic achievement, community involvement, and leadership have the opportunity to be recognized as Youth of the Year. Once Local Clubs recognize members, ages 14-18, as Youth of the Year for their Clubs, these young people then go on to compete for the Statewide Youth of the Year. State winners each receive a $5,000 scholarship and advance to regional competitions.

A Junior Youth of the Year smiling and standing in front of a brick wall

Jr. Youth of the

In an effort to engage our younger members and pave the way for some exceptional teen YOY candidates, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has established the Junior Youth of the Year Program.

Basketball court floor at a club location

Find A Club

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