When kids reach their teenage years, the issues and challenges they face and the choices and options they have multiply exponentially. These youth are bombarded with the negative choices of gangs, violence, crime, drugs, alcohol and teen pregnancy. At the Boys & Girls Club we bombard them with positive choices like education, jobs, service clubs, life skills, social interactions and sports in the hopes they make positive life altering decisions that help them become positive citizens and leaders. Our job as Boys & Girls Club professionals is to develop and offer a teen program that is not only fun and educational but is designed in a way to attract teens to our programs and away from the bad situations on the streets.
Teenagers have to make their own decisions….It is our goal to help them make good decisions.
At the club, we are well aware that teens need their own place to hangout, a place to grow, a place to learn and a place to plan their futures. Teens need their own space, dedicated staff and their own activities and programs that help them develop self- sufficiency skills, supports their educational progress and assists them with planning for college/careers and their futures. These programs have a direct impact on their transition from teens to adulthood. That is why the Club has its own Teen Center designed to provide youth ages 13 to 18 with their own area to learn, grow, play and socialize and interact with other teens.
Our teen center was designed by our teens and includes: big screen TV’s, WII and Xbox programs, a DJ Booth, pool tables, a club store, a weight room, computers and a teen resource center. Our programs are also based on the teen’s needs and choices and include a wide variety of activities. Our teen center program offers over 10 programs or activities each week and these programs target our five core areas of programming:
- education and career development
- leadership and character development
- health and life skills
- the arts
- sport, fitness, and recreations
Here are some of the Programs we offer:
Keystone & Torch Clubs – These clubs are our Sr. and Jr. Leadership programs. These leadership development programs for youth between the ages of 13 and 18 are designed to teach youth the democratic process by electing officers and formulating committees. They make decisions relative to their own fundraising, their activities and design and implement community service projects.
Career Launch – This program is designed to prepare youth to enter the world of work and more importantly, prepare themselves for a career for their life. First the program teaches youth how to obtain and hold a job covering items such as: job applications, resumes, interviews, where to find jobs, how to act on the job and how important employment is. Then the program helps youth examine a variety of career options and connecting those options with a path to follow that includes educational decisions and goal setting that gives them both short and long term success.
Money Matters – This program is designed to give teens the information and skills necessary to understand what is needed to become successful while allowing them to develop their own financial responsibility and stability. Areas covered include: balancing a checkbook, what is rent and/or a mortgage, how to create a budget, how to invest money and how to afford college.
Junior Staff Training- This program allows teens the opportunity to work as part time employees of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kingston. These teens help the younger members with academic assistance, physical projects, sports and recreation programs but most important is the way these teens take on mentorship roles as leaders and role models for the younger members to aspire to. The skills and relationships developed through this program are immersed into the lives of these youth and give them a skill set that is not acquired by most people.
Youth of the Year – This program is our premier program where members of the Boys & Girls Club take part in a grueling competition for the coveted award of Youth of the Year. This highly competitive event highlights the accomplishments of several youth of the Boys & Girls club in an attempt to be chosen to have the special designation of Youth of the Year. Being selected Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. The title recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome.
We also provide a wide range of physical and recreational activities that include: sports, games fun, music, art, drama and dance and designed to make youth well rounded for their future success. Through both group and one-on-one interaction with trained adult staff, Club members learn to make positive decisions about their lives. These teens do better in school, stay away from drugs and gangs and begin to set personal goals for themselves, which ultimately leads them to be responsible citizens of our community.
Come by the Club and learn more about the unique teen programs and special events that are going on at the Teen Center. The door is open.