Character and Leadership

Developing good character and demonstrating leadership skills are critical for young people to succeed in school and in life. Our Character and Leadership programs challenge kids to be community-minded, and empower them by demonstrating how they can affect change by working together.

Keystone Clubs
Keystone Clubs are Boys & Girls Clubs’ most dynamic teen program. These chartered small-group leadership and service clubs are for boys and girls ages 14-18, with activities focused in six areas: service to Club and community, leadership development, education and career exploration, unity, free enterprise, and social recreation.

Torch Clubs
Small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11-13 focusing on character development. Torch Clubs are focused in four areas: service to Club and community, education, health and fitness and social recreation.

Youth of the Year
A recognition and awards program that acknowledges outstanding members in the Clubs. The YOY program helps young people develop their leadership and communication skills through an extensive application and interview process that is held during the annual competition. Junior (10-13 years old) and Senior (14-18 years old) Youths of the Month can compete at a Club and City level. Senior winners can advance to the state, regional, and national competition. Youth of the Year is Boys & Girls Clubs highest honor.

Click here to read about our annual Boys & Girls Clubs Gala, a premier event that celebrates our Youth of the Year participants and raises support for Boys & Girls Club programs that benefit thousands of children and teens.

Youth for Unity
To help educate young people across the country about the importance of tolerance and diversity, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has joined forces with The Allstate Foundation to develop “Youth for Unity,” a diversity education program designed to combat prejudice and intolerance.

Thank you to DaVita, our Character & Leadership Development Core Program sponsor.

Special thanks to Southwest Airlines for being the Official Airline of our Keystone Clubs!