Our Mission & Story

Our Mission & Story

For 150 years, Clubs have changed and saved lives.

Imagine a place where who you are, where you're from or the circumstances that surround you don’t determine your access to experiences or opportunities. Through your support, Boys & Girls Clubs are making that vision a reality — in your community and communities around the world.

Infograph GradCap

97% of Club teens expect to graduate from high school and 88% expect to complete some kind of post-secondary education.

According to BGCA youth outcome data

Our Mission

To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Our Vision

Provide a world-class Club Experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who enters our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle.

Our Commitment to Inclusion

We believe every kid has what it takes. The mission and core beliefs of Boys & Girls Clubs fuel our commitment to promoting safe, positive and inclusive environments for all. Boys & Girls Clubs of America supports all youth and teens – of every race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, socio-economic status, and religion – in reaching their full potential.

Our Great Past

Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 with three women in Hartford, Connecticut - Mary Goodwin, Alice Goodwin and Elizabeth Hammersley. Believing that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative, they organized the first Club. With character development as the cornerstone of the experience, the Club focused on capturing boys interests, improving their behavior and increasing their personal expectations and goals. A cause was born.

In 1906, several Boys Clubs decided to affiliate. The Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations – this marked the start of a nationwide Movement and our national organization.

In 1931, the Boys Club Federation of America became Boys Clubs of America.

In 1956, Boys Clubs of America celebrated its 50th anniversary and received a U.S. Congressional Charter.

To recognize the fact that girls are a part of our cause, the national organization's name was changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 1990. Accordingly, Congress amended and renewed our charter.

2006 marked the Centennial year of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as we celebrated 100 years of providing hope and opportunity to young people across the country.

Through it all, kids have been our #1 priority.

Boys & Girls Clubs provide a safe haven for more than 4 million youth, giving them an opportunity to discover their great futures. But millions of kids are still in need, and we can’t close the opportunity gap alone. You can make a life-changing difference today!

Help put another kid on the path to a great future.

Have a year-round impact on a child's success.

Were you a Club kid?

Once a Club kid, always a Club kid. Please take a moment to make sure you're a part of the Alumni & Friends network!