Character & Leadership
Developing the next generation of leaders.
Character & Leadership Programs at the Club
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.
Youth Of The Year.
Since 1947, Youth of the Year has been Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier recognition program, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club teens. Club members who earn the Youth of the Year title embody the values of leadership service, academic excellence, and healthy lifestyles. They exemplify the critical impact that Boys & Girls Clubs have on the lives of young people.
Local Clubs recognize members ages 14 to 18 as Youth of the Month Winners and select a Youth of the Year, who then participates in state competitions. State winners each receive a $5,000 scholarship and advance to regional competitions. Regional winners receive an additional $10,000 college scholarship, renewable for four years up to $40,000.
Six youth, including five regional winners and a military winner, advance to the National Youth of the Year competition for a chance at an additional scholarship of $25,000, renewable up to $100,000 for four years.
This unique leadership development experience provides opportunities for young people ages 14 to 18. Youth participate, both in and out of the Club, 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 the community.
Annually, BGCA hosts the National Keystone Conference, a character and leadership development 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.