The Character & Leadership core program area empowers youth to support and influence Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania and the community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image, participate in the democratic process and respect their own and others’ cultural identities. Our programs help youth become responsible, caring citizens by developing leadership skills and an importance for service learning.

Youth of the Year is Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier recognition program for Clubhouse members, promoting service to Boys & Girls Clubs, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. The program is most effective when used as a year-round tool for fostering young people’s character, personal growth and leadership qualities.

Meet BGCWPA’s 2020 Youth of the Year, Nick! 

Learn & Earn: 

The Learn & Earn Summer Youth Employment Program is a community-wide effort to empower youth and young adults in Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh to gain the skills and experience necessary to become successful members of our region’s workforce. 

Learn & Earn is designed to provide meaningful work experience and career exposure to low-income young adults, ages 14-21, residing in Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh. The program seeks to: 

  • Create a positive and safe work experience for youth

  • Increase youth exposure to potential careers, occupations, and critical occupational skills

  • Increase youth’s soft skills through work-readiness training tailored to their development stages and learning goals

Work Period: June 29 – August 7, 2020

Participants may work up to 25 hours/week for a total of 150 hours at a rate of $7.25/hour.

Learn & Earn Application is now open, Apply now!

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.

Through Keystone Club, you’ll become the leader you’re meant to be. You’ll practice leadership through real-world projects, you’ll be part of a team of members who help each other grow and learn and you’ll get practical guidance from an advisor who will challenge you to build on abilities you already have. As part of the next generation of leaders, you’ll be spearheading change in the workplace, in your community and even globally – doing your part to make the world a better, safer, cleaner, fairer and kinder place. For teens 14-18. Coming in 2020-2021

Join The Teen Club under your Clubhouse School Year Program!

Community service learning is based on Reissman’s Helper Theory; in helping relationships, the helper receives a strong boost in self efficacy. Increased Self Efficacy leads to an increased likelihood that a teen will show improvements in their own healthy functioning. Teens that have completed CSL projects expressed feeling of accomplishment and learned that they were capable of much more than they expected.

Community Service Learning (CSL) is a core component of the Teen Outreach Program (TOP). The CSL projects are selected and planned by the teens in the TOP club, the projects must be meaningful to the teens. Through the project, teens apply the skills that they have learned in TOP Club to have positive impact on their communities. While helping others we hope that teens experience the “CSL Glow”, which is the feeling of joy and accomplishment the comes with providing service to others.