For more than 150 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 4 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 290 Clubs in public housing, 170 Clubs on Native lands, 480 BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide, and 1,520 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.
National club members in the high school graduating class of 2016 showed much more interest in pursuing STEM careers than their peers nationally. 57% of graduating class Club boys showed an interest in STEM compared to 44% of males overall. 50% of Club girls in the 2016 graduating class expressed the same interest, compared to only 16% of their peers.
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.
74% of regularly attending Club teens reported volunteering in their community at least once in the past 12 months, with 51% volunteering on a monthly or weekly basis. Club teens are almost twice as likely to volunteer at least monthly as their peers nationally.