This past year, BGCWPA welcomed a Director of Teen & Support Services, as well as three Teen coordinators to best serve our growing teen population. New and improved teen and tween programming are highlighted at our Shadyside, Estelle S. Campbell (Lawrenceville) and Carnegie Clubs, in addition to the Teen Career Works program in McKeesport. Our Teen Centers, or The Club, is a safe place for teens to develop strengths, connect with others, use their voice, impact their community and build great futures.

Each of our seven Clubhouses sponsors a national program called Torch Club. Torch Club is a small group, peer-driven “Club within “the Club” focused on developing critical leadership skills, character development and service-learning for youth ages 10-13. 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. This Club provides youth with the ability, confidence, and motivation to make meaningful changes.

When our “tweens” graduate from Torch Club, they will have the opportunity to continue their leadership development in our Keystone Club. Through Keystone Club, teens ages 14-18 will become the leader they’re meant to be. Keystone Club members practice leadership through real-world projects and are part of a team that help each other grow and learn. Teens will get practical guidance from an advisor who will challenge the teens to build on abilities they already have. As part of the next generation of leaders, Keystone Club members will be spearheading change in the workplace, in their community and even globally – doing their part to make the world a better, safer, cleaner, fairer and kinder place.

Finally, we offer Teen Voice & Choice Programming at Shadyside, ESC, and Carnegie. Voice and Choice programs are unique at every Clubhouse. The teens in “The Club” brainstorm ideas and decide what programs they want and what programs they need. This year we are offering Cooking Cub, ACT/SAT Prep courses, Interviewing/Job Application course, Discover Pittsburgh Club and Lyricism 101, to name a few!

In addition, several of our Clubhouses offer Teen Nights on select Fridays during the year. Current members are encouraged to invite friends, who are not Club members, to share a night of fun, food and fellowship.

The Teen Outreach Program (TOP) is our first program in the BGCWPA’s Healthy Lifestyles initiative. It’s a unique combination of engaging curriculum and Community Service Learning (CSL), consisting of weekly meetings where the youth participate in peer-to-peer discussions about a range of issues and topics, including relationships, decision making, problem-solving, setting goals, and exploring your values and beliefs. It’s a space where youth will be listened to and respected by the adults and peers and will have the chance to share your ideas and gain valuable skills. The youth will also organize and carry out a meaningful CSL project of their choice. It is a youth-drive, adult-lead program. TOP Club takes place at our Shadyside, ESC, and Carnegie locations. We also provide TOP Club programming with McKeesport Area School District, Northgate School District, Brookline Teen Outreach Center, and the Will Allen Foundation. (more to come in January’s blog!)

Follow us on Instagram @teencenterbgcwpa for updated events and information! View our Teen Club Program flyer to learn more!