Our Story

For more than a century, Boys & Girls Clubs have helped put young people on the path to great futures.

The Good Will Club in Hartford, Conn., circa 1900.

Mission

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

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.

History

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.

History Highlights

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.