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Impact Strategies

Good Character

  • Career Launch
    Career Launch

    Preparing teens for our nation's workforce.

    Career Launch encourages Club members ages 13-8 to assess their skills and interests, explore careers, make sound educational decisions and prepare to join our nation's work force. Club staff or volunteers use the Career Exploration Quick Reference Guide to work with teens individually or in small groups to build their job-search skills and job readiness. The easy-to-read Career Launch Teen Tips is pocket sized and full of practical job-hunting advice for young people. The Career Launch website,, provides Club teens, staff and volunteers with online career exploration, college and job search information and interactive activities. Mentoring, job shadowing and training opportunities round out the program.


    Junior Staff is a small-group program that is both practical and user friendly.

    It assists Club members ages 13-18 in exploring a career in youth or human services, particularly Boys & Girls Club work. Young people prepare for future roles as human services professionals by participating in career development activities, discovering the importance of community service, building customer service skills and completing a Club apprenticeship. Clubs that implement this program make an investment in the development of Club members’ interpersonal skills, work ethic and sense of community responsibility.


    Keystoning is the Boys & Girls Club Movement’s ultimate teen program.

    This unique leadership development experience provides opportunities for young people ages 14-18. 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 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.

    Check out BGCA’s website for Club teens:


    The Latino Outreach Initiative provides Clubs with effective strategies to reach, serve and empower Latino youth and families.

    Latino Outreach has four components:
    1. Programming gives young Latinos access to the Club and interest and need-based programs to help them develop leadership abilities to establish strong decision making skills.
    2. Leadership offers opportunities for youth, staff, board members and the community to sharpen their skills and serve their communities.
    3. Education promotes working closely with the Clubs to encourage high school graduation and higher education through partnerships and targeted programs.
    4. Sustainability focuses on managing growth and maintaining Club services for Latinos through board development and cultivation of local Latino-owned businesses as funding sources.


    This program promotes financial responsibility and independence among Club members ages 13-18.
    Participants learn how to manage a checking account, create a budget, save, invest, start a small businesses and pay for college.


    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 life.

    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.


    Through a comprehensive set of interventions, the Youth for Unity program aims to promote and celebrate diversity while combating prejudice, bigotry and discrimination.

    Youth for Unity features age-appropriate programming for youth ages 6-12, teens and parents; training and resources for Club professionals; and a leadership awards program. The program builds the capacity of local Clubs to help their members appreciate themselves as unique and special individuals, understand diversity in society, recognize bias and unfairness and take personal leadership in confronting bias.


    BGCA’s premier recognition program for Club members

    Established in 1947, Youth of the Year is BGCA’s premier recognition program for Club members, promoting service to Club, community and family, academic success, strong moral character, life goals, and poise and public speaking ability. The program is most effective when used as a year-round tool for fostering young people’s character, personal growth and leadership qualities.

    Local Clubs recognize members ages 14-18 as Youth of the Month winners and select a Youth of the Year, who then participates in state competitions. State winners each receive a $1,000 scholarship and participate in regional competitions. Five regional winners each receive a $10,000 scholarship and compete on the national level. The National Youth of the Year receives up to an additional $50,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States.

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