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Good Character & Citizenship

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 Club

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

Keystone Club is the Boys & Girls Clubs 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.

Impact Plus

This outreach program focuses on youth ages 12-17 that have been referred to the Boys & Girls Clubs via the Juvenile Court System and/or Teen Court.  Staff complete an intake assessment on each youth referred to the program, along with their parent, before beginning the program.  Youth work with staff to complete mandatory community service hours at the club and throughout the community, in order to complete all requirements set forth by the judge.

Academic Success

Project Learn

Project Learn reinforces and enhances the skills and knowledge young people learn at school during the hours they spend at the Club. This comprehensive strategy is based on Dr. Reginald Clark’s research showing that students do much better in school when they spend their non-school hours engaged in fun, educational activities. Through Project Learn, Club staff use all the areas and programs in the Club to create opportunities for these high-yield learning activities, which include leisure reading, writing activities, discussions with knowledgeable adults, helping others, homework help and tutoring, games and incentives to reward Club members for positive academic participation.

Power Hour: Making Minutes Count

Power Hour helps Club members ages 6-18 achieve academic success by providing homework help, tutoring, and high-yield learning activities. Club professionals are equipped with strategies, activities and resources to create an engaging homework help and tutoring program to promote club members to become self-directed learners.

Money Matters: Make It Count

Money Matters promotes financial responsibility and independence among Club members ages 13-18 by building their basic money management skills. Participants learn how to manage a checking account, budget, save and invest. They also learn about starting small businesses and paying for college.

Career Launch

Career launch encourages Club members ages 13-18 to assess their skills and interests, explore careers, make sound educational decisions and prepare to join our nation’s ever-changing work force. Club staff or volunteers can 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. Career Launch Teen Tips is an easy-to-read, pocket-sized booklet for teens full of practical job-hunting advice that comes with an attractive portfolio for storing resumes, job applications and other job-hunting documents.

Junior Staff Career Development

Junior Staff Career Development is a comprehensive small-group program designed to guide youth toward careers in youth development or human services by nurturing their leadership skills and providing guided, practical experiences.  The program prepares Club members ages 14-18 with specific skills to secure employment and be successful in the world of work. Using the comprehensive program materials and assessment tools that the program provides, Club staff can tailor the program to meet their members’ particular needs. Teens learn how to identify job opportunities, write effective resumes, perform well in interviews, dress appropriately, develop good work habits and get along well with others in the workplace.

UPS Road Code

UPS Road Code focuses on different safety principles throughout the program, from basic instruction to the consequences of risky behaviors such as talking on cell phones, texting or drinking while driving. During the program, teens learn safe driving skills and practice the skills on a driving simulator. The driving simulator features a computer screen that serves as a windshield to the program’s interactive animation, a steering wheel, and life-like gas and brake pedals.

Lyricism 101  

Recognizing the power of the literary arts, Lyricism 101 positions Club members as torchbearers and experts in the ancient oral poetic traditions that continue to thrive around the world. The program gives teens an opportunity to tell their stories, build community and express their artistic visions through the music of hip-hop culture and the culture of the cipher.

Maker Space

Boys & Girls Clubs has a partnership with Williford Elementary School who provided a location for a fully-functional MakerSpace lab called The FRAME Shop. Teens learn technology and design skills through the use of computers, 3-D printers, AxiDraw, and Cricut. They are learning creative problem-solving skills as they make things together. The FRAME Shop stands for “Fun Realistic Artistic Maker Environment.”

Healthy Lifestyles


This nationally acclaimed comprehensive prevention program helps young people resist alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, as well as premature sexual activity. The program features engaging, interactive small group activities designed to increase participants’ peer support, enhance their life skills, build their resiliency and strengthen their leadership skills. This year-round program encourages collaborations among Club staff, youth, parents and representatives from other community organizations. The program’s components include: SMART Kids, for children ages 6-9, Start SMART, for youth ages 10-12, Stay SMART, for youth ages 13-15.


An outgrowth of the popular SMART Moves program, SMART Girls is a health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement program for girls ages 8-17. The program focuses on issues specific to female Club members and is designed to encourage healthy attitudes and lifestyles that will enable those members to develop to their full potential. From interactive role playing to more tailored mentoring, girls are given the opportunity to explore personal and societal values as they build skills for eating right, staying fit, getting good health care and developing positive relationships.

Passport to Manhood

This program promotes and teaches responsibility and reinforces positive behavior in male Club members ages 8-17. Passport to Manhood consists of small-group sessions, each of which concentrates on a specific aspect of manhood through highly interactive activities. Each participant is issued his own “Passport” to underscore the notion that he is on a personal journey of maturation and personal growth. The curriculum is an excellent complement to SMART Girls.

Street SMART

Street SMART counteracts the negative lures of gangs, violence and “street” influences on young adolescents ages 11-13. While building awareness and resistance skills, participants develop the confidence and knowledge to make intelligent choices. Street SMART’s three modules teach young people how gangs work and how to resist being recruited, how to recognize and resolve conflicts peacefully and how to become positive peer helpers. Participants reinforce what they have learned and share it with others by organizing community events that promote the positive messages of Street SMART.

Healthy Habits

Healthy Habits is the “Mind” component of the Triple Play program. The Healthy Habits curricula focuses on making choices that support a healthy eating pattern and physical wellness. This targeted program is made up of interactive practical activities that develop a young person’s ability, confidence and motivation to eat healthy for life. Healthy Habits was carefully designed to provide comprehensive support for the Club’s healthy eating program. The program is organized into 14 sessions that guide members of all ages through three topic areas: defining health, applying nutritional information, and influencing the environment.

The Arts Program

This year-round program encourages artistic expression among Club members aged 6-18 through drawing, painting, print making, collage, mixed media and sculpture displayed at local and regional exhibits. A panel of distinguished judges selects works for inclusion in the National Fine Arts Exhibit, which debuts at Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Conference and is displayed throughout the ensuing year.

Triple Play Plus

This program challenges members to become healthy and active by learning new ways to eat nutritionally, manage stress, and maintain physical fitness. Triple Play Plus takes the holistic route to touch our members Mind, Body, and Soul. It is intended to increase the number of hours per day that Club members participate in physical activities; and strengthen their ability to interact positively with others and engage in healthy relationships.