It’s not a job. It’s a calling.
At the heart of every Boys & Girls Club are youth development professionals, 65,000 staff members who impart positive values that children and teens take with them into their communities and their futures. Caring women and men who provide our youth with safe, fun, inclusive spaces where everyone is welcome.
“Children thrive when surrounded by safe, nurturant, and sustained adult relationships. After school programs are ideal places to nurture youth, because of the long-term relationships possible in these settings. Boys & Girls Clubs can enter a young person’s life in kindergarten and offer these nurturing relationships throughout the normal ups and downs of development while serving as a critical buffering force against stressors outside its walls. High quality relationships matter to all youth, but programs like BGCA that focus on youth deserving of most focused attention can make a profound difference in shaping a generation poised to lead us into the future.”
- Ken Ginsburg, MD, MS Ed - Author of “Building Resilience in Children and Teens,” and Editor of “Reaching Teens: Strength-based Communication Strategies to Build Resilience and Support Healthy Adolescent Development,” both published by The American Academy of Pediatrics
Skilled Youth Development Professionals
Boys & Girls Club staff are trained in youth development practices to provide children and teens with high-quality experiences that support their current and long-term success. Staff utilize our five key elements for positive youth development, based on research that studied many Clubs’ best practices:
- Create a safe, positive environment
- Generate fun and foster a sense of belonging
- Encourage supportive relationships with peers and adults
- Provide opportunities and set expectations
- Offer recognition to positive behavior
By recognizing young people’s contributions and accomplishments, Club staff can help kids build relationships with peers and develop a sense of belonging.
Other ways Club staff support youth include helping them reframe conflict, identify their feelings, and understand the relationship between emotion, behavior and consequence.