Good Character

Good Character, BGC Kids on Steps
The value of giving back...

Through quality programming, professional staff and dedicated volunteers, our Clubs guide youth in becoming productive, caring, responsible citizens. We foster accountability and support young people in developing leadership skills while understanding the value of giving back to their community.

Program, Good Character

Our Program

  • Promotes the development of a positive self-image and strong character
  • Teaches positive and effective strategies for responding to conflict
  • Encourages the development of meaningful relationships with others
  • Empowers youth to support and influence their Club and community
  • Teaches respect for their own culture and the cultures of others

Members become caring, responsible members of our collective communities while learning through service projects. By organizing clothes and food drives, volunteering at public events, and leading projects in their own neighborhoods, young people cultivate their leadership skills, as they witness the benefits of their efforts. In addition, teen members participate in the Youth of the Year program, the premier national recognition program for Boys & Girls Clubs of America members, which honors and celebrates young people who have distinguished themselves by rising above challenging circumstances.


Some of the highlights of our character-promoting activities include:

Torch Club

Torch Club

Torch Clubs are chartered, small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11 to 13. A Torch Club is a powerful vehicle where Club staff can help meet the special character development needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their lives. 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.

Keystone Club

Keystone, The Ultimate Teen Program

Keystoning is Boys & Girls Clubs Movement’s ultimate teen program. This unique leadership development experience provides opportunities for young people aged 14 to 18. Both in and out of the Club, Keystone youth participate in activities that promote 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, Boys & Girls Clubs of America hosts the National Keystone Conference, a character and leadership development conference for Boys & Girls Club teens that brings together members worldwide. At the conference, Keystone members engage with peers, explore relevant issues, and develop skills to support and enhance efforts in their local Boys & Girls Clubs and communities.

Youth of the Year

Youth of the Year

This is the premier, national recognition for Club members, which promotes service to Club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. Local Clubs recognize members ages 14 to 18 as Youth of the Month winners and select a Youth of the Year, who advances to state competition. State winners receive a $1,000 scholarship and move on to regional competition. 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.