Youth Leadership

Youth of the Year is the Boys & Girls Clubs of America signature program that fosters a new generation of leaders, fully prepared to live and lead in a diverse, global and integrated world economy. Over the decades, Youth of the Year has evolved into a comprehensive leadership development program that includes:

  • Youth of the Month – Leadership Recognition Program
  • Junior Youth of the Year – Leadership Readiness Program
  • Youth of the Year – Leadership Development Program

“Because for each of us, today’s youth, our future begins today!”

– Ximena Hernandez
Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County 2020 Youth of the Year

Youth of the Month

Youth of the Month is a recognition program that focuses on acknowledging and making Club members aware of their own leadership abilities. Youth of the Month is a Club-driven experience that fosters leadership within the Club. Youth of the Month is run on an ongoing basis over the course of a year. Youth of the Month is primarily a recognition program, but engaging in various leadership experiences is an important part of the program. The focus of this program is on making Club youth aware of leadership abilities they might not think they possesses and cultivating them so that they learn what it means to be a leader.

Junior Youth of the Year

Distinct from the National Youth of the Year program, Junior Youth of the Year seeks to develop junior leaders ages 10-13 within the Club environment. The program fosters Club members’ emerging leadership abilities while preparing them for later participation in the Youth of the Year program. In addition to recognizing the leadership achievements of Club youth, Junior Youth of the Year also cultivates their leadership potential, providing the foundation they need for advanced leadership development, academic excellence and postsecondary success. Through this program, Club youth become motivated to seek opportunities for leadership and to act as responsible citizens and change agents.

Youth of the Year

Each year, one exceptional Club member is selected to be the BGCLPC Youth of the Year, serving as an ambassador for Boys & Girls Club youth as well as a voice for all of our community’s young people. Over the decades, these individuals have exemplified the Boys & Girls Club mission and are proof to the impact Clubs make in transforming and saving kids’ lives.

Becoming National Youth of the Year is an exciting and inspiring journey. Each year, thousands of Club teens participate in local, state and regional Youth of the Year events. Six teens, including five regional winners and a national military youth winner, advance to Washington, D.C., for the National Youth of the Year Gala & Celebration Dinner, where one outstanding young person is named Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national teen spokesperson. The National Youth of the Year is a role model, leader and advocate for the nearly 4 million youth served by Boys & Girls Clubs each year, and all of America’s young people.

Taylor Morris – 2018 Youth of the Year

“The Club was a safe place for me. I had never sung in front of other people until the karaoke parties at the Club, where I realized I enjoy singing. As a result I sang in my high school and university choirs. As the Club I never felt judged and was able to safely explore who I am and who I wanted to be. We did lots of science experiments. Today I am graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in molecular biology and applying for graduate study in preparation for a career as a Physician’s Assistant.”

– Taylor Morris
Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County 2018 Youth of the Year