Youth of the Year
BGCA’s premier recognition program for Club members
Youth of the Year

Since 1947, Youth of the Year has been Boys & Girls Clubs of America's premier recognition program, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club members. Each year, one exceptional Club member is selected to be the National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year serves as both an exemplary ambassador for Boys & Girls Club youth and as a strong voice for all of our nation's young people.

The journey to being named National Youth of the Year begins locally and progresses to the state, regional and national levels. To achieve the title of Youth of the Year on any level, Club members must embody the values of leadership and service; academic excellence; and healthy lifestyles. They should exemplify the critical impact that Boys & Girls Clubs have on the lives of young people.

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. In response to the evolving need for youth leadership development, the Youth of the Year Leadership Development Suite was developed. The suite includes leadership activities for all ages and encompasses three components: Youth of the Month, Junior Youth of the Year and Youth of the Year.

  • Youth of the Month
    • A leadership recognition program that introduces basic leadership concepts to Club Members of all ages.
  • Junior Youth of the Year
    • Begins to foster leadership potential in youth ages 10-13
  • Youth of the Year Leadership Development
    • Intentionally develops leadership ability in youth ages 14- 18, prepares teens for success in high-school, post-secondary and the 21st century workplace. Teens will also participate in activities designed to prepare them for the Youth of the Year application process.

199 Boys & Girls Clubs are located on Native American lands.
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