Helping youth become responsible, caring citizens and acquire skills for participating in the democratic process is the main objective of these programs. They also develop leadership skills and provide opportunities for planning, decision making, contributing to Club and community and celebrating our national heritage.
Leaders in Training
(L.I.T.) is a program that was developed by a collaboration of Boys & Girls Clubs, including the Santa Monica Club, to respond to the needs of our teenagers. L.I.T., generously funded by the Pacific Youth Foundation, is a program designed to teach teens ages 12 – 18 to work with our younger members, handle responsibilities and develop essential leadership skills. With training and supervision from Club staff, L.I.T. members assist younger members, lead recreational activities and provide additional support for the program staff.
Keystone Clubs are chartered small group leadership development clubs for young people ages 14 – 18. Keystoners elect officers, choose their own activities and plan and implement community service projects. A national charter entitles a Keystone Club to participate in regional and national Keystone conferences.
Youth of the Year
The National Youth of the Year Program is designed to promote and recognize service to Club and community, academic performance and contributions to family and spiritual life. Competition begins with each Club selecting a Youth of the Year who receives a certificate and medallion then enters state competition. State winners receive a plaque and $1,000 scholarship then enter the regional competition. Each of the five regional winners receives a $10,000 scholarship and enters the national competition held in Washington, DC. The National Youth of the Year receives an additional $15,000 scholarship, totaling $26,000 in scholarships, and is installed by the President of the United States.
This small-group leadership development program, sponsored by Staples, is targeted to youth ages 11 – 13. Within some 700 Torch Clubs across the country, members elect officers and plan and implement their own activities and community service projects. Each Torch Club receives an official charter from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.