Good Character

Good Character & Citizenship

Four friends showing good character and citizenship at the Boys & Girls Club of New Haven

We strive to encourage youth to be engaged citizens who support and influence the Club and community and who sustain meaningful relationships with others. We also work to help youth develop a positive self-image and good character while respecting their and others’ cultural identities.

Every day our Club provides a wealth of programs and activities to prepare young people for real-world successes. By focusing on leadership and service, Clubs members will be better prepared to thrive as adults and contribute to our community.

Club alumni should be well-rounded individuals and a walking testament to what a successful program has to offer. Club members learn the value of themselves and others through a variety of character development and leadership programs such as Keystone & Torch Clubs and Youth of the Year. They establish relationships with caring, capable adults and they know that the Club is a safe place to just be themselves.


Torch Club – charter small-group leadership and service clubs for boys and girls ages 11-13. 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.

Keystone Club – This fun and impactful program promotes leadership among Club teens ages 14-18 and focuses on academic success, career preparation and community service.

Youth of the Year – Youth of the Year is a recognition program for members that fosters character, personal growth and leadership qualities.

Giving Back to the Community

Giving back to the New Haven community is also important and Club members are taught that early on. Torch and Keystone Club members perform service hours to better our community. Helping with food, hygiene and book drives, starting a recycling program at the Club, and community beautification projects are just some of the ways that Boys & Girls Club members give back to the New Haven community.

Additionally, from information collected from our Youth Outcome Surveys and Parent Surveys, we found that:

  • 62% of Club youth strongly agree that their participation has improved their ability to get along with people at home and school
  • 61% of parents agree that their child’s participation has improved their child’s behavior at home and at school