Reaching and retaining teenage Club members is critical to the success of our children. Far too often, parents feel that their pre-teens and teens no longer need the type of supervision offered by the Boys & Girls Clubs. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Teen years are pivotal in a child’s life, and often the period where they become involved in negative behaviors such as gang involvement, premature sexual activities and dropping out of school. Statistically, more children drop out of school during their freshman and sophomore years. Teen pregnancy often occurs during after school periods when left without adult supervision.
The Clubs newest stand-alone facilities are built with teens in mind. Clubs offer a number of amenities that encourage teen involvement including full gyms, dance studios, computer labs and teen-only lounges and game rooms.
To keep teens actively involved, the Boys & Girls Clubs provides numerous programs and activities designed to attract, retain and help teens reach their full potential. From sports such as basketball, tennis and golf to entrepreneurial programs to Job Smart to Job Start programs, which provide paid positions and hands on work experience, the Clubs are committed to increasing teen attendance. In addition, teens are offered a wide variety of prevention programs to help them combat negative or counter-productive peer pressure and to understand their potential if they stay the course. To that end the Club’s mantra is BE GREAT – GRADUATE.
As with all Club programs, providing teens with a fun experience is critical to their participation. The Club is dedicated to making fun a priority with numerous field trips like attending plays, concerts and sporting events to visiting college campuses and leadership programs throughout the state.
Junior Staff Program – An educational program which provides teens with information on obtaining and retaining employment covering items such as filling out an employment application, resume writing, dressing for success, skill training and work ethics. Youth who successfully complete the program are eligible for employment with the Clubs as junior staff throughout the year or the summer.
Passport to Manhood – Passport to Manhood promotes and teaches responsibility in Club boys ages 11-14. Passport to Manhood consists of 14 sessions, each of which concentrates on a specific aspect of manhood though highly interactive activities. Each Club participant receives his own passport to underscore the notion that he is on a personal journey of maturation and growth.
SMART Girls- Smart Girls is a small group health fitness prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement program designed to meet the developmental needs of girls ages 8-12 and 13-17 through dynamic sessions, field trips, mentoring opportunities with adult women. Club girls explore their own societal attitudes and values as they build skills for eating right, staying physically fit, getting good health care, and developing positive relationships with peers and adults.
SMART Moves – S.M.A.R.T. stands for Skills Mastery and Resistance Training. This is a nationally acclaimed comprehensive prevention program that helps young people resist alcohol, tobacco, and other drup use, as well as premature sexual activity. SMART Moves feature engaging, interactive, small group activities that increase participants, peer support, enhance their life skills, build their resiliency, and strengthen their leadership skills. The programs components are: SMART kids, for ages 6-9, Start SMART for ages 10-12, Stay SMART ages 13-15, and smart parents.
Youth of the Year - The Youth of the Year program honors our nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures and encourages all kids to lead, succeed and inspire. The program recognizes and celebrates leadership, academic success, civic responsibility and engagement. Coupled with instilling good character, the Youth of the Year program is an essential part of every Club’s youth development experience. Youth of the Year candidates demonstrate positive self-esteem and personal growth; serve as ambassadors for the Club and community; and become voices and advocates of the Club experience. Their success is our triumph.
Being named BGCPBC Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Club member can achieve. Local Youth of the Year winners go on to compete on a state, regional and national levels and have the opportunity to win scholarships at the various levels. In Palm Beach County, thanks to the Mary Alice Fortin Foundation, all Youth of the Year candidates receive a four-year college scholarship with the county winner receiving a four-year university scholarship plus room, board and all fees.
Keystone Club - Keystoning is the Boys & Girls Club Movement’s most dynamic teen program. It affords teens an opportunity to gain valuable leadership and service experience. They conduct activities in four key areas: academic success, career exploration, community service and teen outreach.
Aaron's Inc. sponsors the Keystone Club program as part of a multi-year teen initiative; a strategic partnership between Aaron's Inc. and BGCA provides Clubs with the tools and resources to create a positive place for teens as well as for kids.