Why Join a Club?
For more than 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs have changed and saved young lives during the out-of-school time. We want every child in America to be in a safe, constructive environment when they are not at home or in school. We provide that safe haven for nearly 3.6 million youth every year, but there are millions more who need it, and we can’t do it alone.
We also reach underserved communities — we have 275 Clubs in public housing, 227 Clubs on Native lands, 470 BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide, and 2,125 Clubs in schools.
Clubs play an important role in providing a safe space to exercise, compete in team sports and establish lifelong friendships. Teens who stay involved in a Club are more likely than their peers to have healthy habits, including being physically active and abstaining from risky behaviors like drinking alcohol, smoking and using marijuana.
Teens who stay connected to a Club as they get older seem better able to resist engaging in high-risk behaviors, such as drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, than their peers nationally.
3.5 million 18-to-24-year-olds are not in school, not working and have no degree beyond high school. Additionally, the average recovery time from pandemic-related math and reading loss is five years for middle school students and three years for elementary school students. Students starting their second year of pandemic-impacted learning were an average of four months behind in math and three months behind in reading. Ensuring that every Club member graduates from high school on time with a solid plan for their future is of the highest priority for BGCA. Boys & Girls Clubs offer homework help, tutoring, educational enrichment and college preparation programs designed to support young people’s academic achievement.
Club members in the high school graduating class of 2016 showed much more interest in pursuing STEM careers than their peers nationally. 48% of Club kids and teens are interested in pursuing a STEM-related job in the future. Club members across races and ethnicities show interest in pursuing a science-related career, particularly 49% of Black youth and 47% of Hispanic or Latino youth, which are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.
Throughout more than a century of existence, Boys & Girls Clubs have worked to foster young people’s integrity and good character, their ability to make positive life choices, their belief that they can bring about positive change in their communities, and their compassion and willingness to serve others.
1 in 5 Club teens volunteer once a month in their school, neighborhood or community. 1 in 4 kids help out at their Boys & Girls Club once a week or more and 85% of Club kids and teens have done things to help people in their community.