Character & Leadership

Character & Leadership Development
Our program offerings in Character & Leadership Development are designed to help our members acquire the skills and knowledge to make a difference in their communities and create brighter futures for themselves in the process. 

High standards of conduct, personal responsibility, and commitments to others are encouraged and recognized through our Youth of the Year program. Our annual Youth of the Year competition is aligned with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Youth of the Year program, which honors the extraordinary achievements of teen Club members.

Through service learning programs like Torch Club (ages 11-13) and Keystone Club (ages 14-18) our youth are empowered to support and influence their Club community, sustain meaningful relationships with their peers, act as role models for younger members. Our caring staff provides mentorship that helps kids to develop a positive self-image and learn to respect their own and others’ cultural identities. 

Keystoning is the Boys & Girls Club Movement’s ultimate teen program. This unique leadership development experience provides opportunities for young people ages 14-18. Youth participate, both in and out of the Club, in activities in three focus areas: academic success, career preparation and community service. With the guidance of an adult advisor, we aim to have a positive impact on members, the Club and the community.
Our Keystone Griffins won the National Program Award in 2015 for their work on changing New Jersey Law. They've also hosted a Career Night with Jersey City Ties, volunteered for a host of community events, tutored and mentored younger members and attended the National Keystone Conference.

In October 2015, they hosted Our Lives Matter Youth Town Hall to engage high school students throughout Jersey City in a year of civic engagement.
Torch Clubs are charter small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11-13. It is a powerful vehicle through which our Club staff help meet the special character development needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their development. Torch Club members learn to elect officers and work together to implement activities in four areas: service to Club and community, education, health and fitness, and social recreation. 
The Giraffe Heroes Project teaches young people character education by sharing stories of youth who have been heroes in their communities and in the world. It empowers young people to use their voices and take affirmative steps to solving community problems. The Giraffe Heroes Project moves kids to be courageous, compassionate and responsible members of the community.
Million Members, Million Hours of Service (MMMHS) encourages good character and appreciation for citizenship and provides every Club member with opportunities to serve in year-round Club and community based volunteer service experiences.  Throughout the year, there are eight Signature Service Opportunities-times when the entire Boys & Girls Club Movement comes together around important, nationwide service projects for greater impact.
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