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Character & Leadership

Developing 21st Century leaders

As youth are taught to be productive, caring, responsible citizens through high-quality programs and staff who model good behavior, they are more likely to carry these values with them when they leave the Club. In addition to fostering accountability, we also help young people develop leadership skills, a sense of civic duty and an understanding of the value of giving back to their community. 

Keystone Club

Keystone Club is The Boys & Girls Club Movement’s ultimate teen program.

Keystone Club provides leadership development opportunities for young people ages 14 to 18. Youth participate in activities in three focus areas: academic success, career preparation, and community service. With the guidance of an adult advisor, Keystone Club aims to have a positive impact on members, the Club, and our community.

BGCA hosts an annual National Keystone 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.

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 that helps Club staff meet the special character development needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their life.

Youth of the Year

Youth of the Year is our signature effort to foster a new generation of leaders who are fully prepared to live and lead in a diverse, global and integrated world economy.

In the 21st-century world and workplace, leadership skills such as communication, goal-setting, and teamwork are essential for everyone - especially young people preparing to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood. With a grassroots beginning in 1947, Youth of the Year has evolved into a comprehensive leadership development program, which includes:

Youth of the Month – Leadership Recognition Program

Junior Youth of the Year – Leadership Readiness Program, and

Youth of the Year – Leadership Development Program

Aria Russell, 2019 BGCSAC Youth of the Year

Congratulations to Aria from our Teichert Branch for winning the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento's Youth of the Year! Aria embodies so many inspiring qualities, with her determination to always do her best, her natural leadership, and passion for helping others. In her Youth of the Year speech Aria shared:

Four years ago I became a member of the Boys & Girls Club. At the Club, fears melt away, stereotypes do not control the way Members are treated, and winning is not the goal. Having fun, feeling safe, and having the courage to be yourself are the goals.

The Club taught me how to work hard and play hard. I have grown from an average student to an A student, and I want more for myself and my future than ever before. The Club has also shown me what it is to be a leader. Volunteering has become an important part of my life and the list of causes I support continues to grow; from youth-led councils and homeless shelters to my Club.

Through my Club experience I am proud and prepared to meet and overcome challenges, and along with my fellow Club members, create a brighter future for all.

Our Impact For the 2021-22 school year

  • Club Members and Youth Served


  • Sessions of homework help


  • Hours of programs focusing on Health & Life Skills


  • Hours of programs focusing on Character & Leadership


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