These programs help youth become responsible, caring citizens and acquire skills to participate the democratic process. Program participants also develop leadership skills and gain opportunities for planning, decision-making, contributing to Club and community and celebrating our national heritage.
YOUTH OF THE YEAR
Youth of the Year is Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier youth recognition program for Club members. All members can benefit from participation in this program, which promotes and celebrates service to Club, community and family; academic performance; moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. The Youth of the Year program is most effective when used as a year-round tool for fostering young people’s character, personal growth and leadership qualities. Our local Clubs recognize members ages 14-18 who were Youths of the Month and select a Youth of the Year, who then participates in state competition. State winners participate in regional competition. Five regional winners advance to compete on a national level. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $10,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States.
Torch Clubs are chartered small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11-13. A Torch Club is a powerful vehicle through which Club staff can help meet the special character development needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their development. Torch Club members learn to elect officers and work together to implement activities in four areas: service to Club and community, education, health and fitness and social recreation. Each year, Torch Club members from all over the country take part in a service-learning experience through the National Torch Club Project.
Keystone Club is the Boys & Girls Club Movement’s most dynamic teen program. Keystone Clubs are chartered leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 14-18. Keystoner’s elect officers and implement service projects throughout their club and community. Keystone Club members and their advisors can be nominated to steering committees that organize regional and national Keystone Conferences attended by thousands of Keystoners each year. Keystone Club Awards are bestowed annually on Keystone Clubs that implement programs and activities that best promote the Keystoning principles.
BE A STAR
As part of the WWE’s bullying prevention initiative, the Be A Star curriculum was designed to focus on social and emotional learning, give middle school-aged youth the tools they need to drive effective learning, decision making, creativity, relationships and mental health. Its mission is to encourage young people to treat each other with respect through education and grassroots initiatives.
YOUTH FOR UNITY
BGCA’s Youth for Unity program provides youth and parents with the groundwork that will help them better understand diversity and combat prejudice, bigotry and discrimination. This program consists of a comprehensive, broad-based set of activities and conversation starters that build the capacity of local Clubs to help members appreciate themselves as unique and special individuals; understand our society’s diversity; recognize bias and unfairness; and take personal leadership in confronting bias.