Character & Leadership Development

“Keep moving forward. It only takes one step at a time.”

Aaliyah Kister,
2018 Youth of the Year


Youth of the year is BGCA’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. Local Clubs recognize member’s 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 competitions. Five regional winners each receive an engraved plaque and a $5,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States. Reader’s Digest Foundation has sponsored the Youth of the Year program for more than 50 years.


Junior Staff Career Development is a comprehensive, small-group program that assists Club members ages 11-18 in exploring a career in youth or human services, particularly Boys & Girls Club work. Through hands-on experiences with helping others in the Club and community, field trips to other service organizations and one-on-one guidance from Club staff, youth prepare for future roles as human services professionals or volunteer leaders in their community.


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. Money Matters features three components. The Teen Personal Finance Guide is a fun, attractive booklet containing practical tips and activities to help teens learn the important skills of balancing a checkbook, creating a budget and saving and investing for college and retirement. The Facilitator’s Guide provides Club staff and volunteers with basic financial information and instructions for easy-to-implement small-group activities. Money Matters was developed in collaboration with the Charles Schwab Foundation.

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