Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 with several women in Hartford, Conn. Believing that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative, they organized the first Club. A cause was born. In 1906, several Boys Clubs decided to affiliate. The Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations – this marked the start of a nationwide Movement. In 1931, the Boys Club Federation of America became Boys Clubs of America. In 1956, Boys Clubs of America celebrated its 50th anniversary and received a U.S. Congressional Charter. To recognize the fact that girls are a part of our cause, the national organization’s name was changed to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 1990. Accordingly, Congress amended and renewed our charter. 2006 marked the Centennial year of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as we celebrated 100 years of providing hope and opportunity to young people across the country. Our alliance was formed in 2002, and in 2008 we hired our first Executive Director.
We represent 17 separate organizations that serve 38 communities with 46 individual sites.These Clubs provide safe, positive centers staffed with youth development professionals, who mentor and teach the youth they serve.
At the Clubs, members are involved in educational and fun youth-development programs that give each child a sense of competence, power to influence decisions, usefulness and belonging – all qualities that will help them make the most of their lives and become the leaders of today and tomorrow.
Young people think of their Club not as a building or a program but as a sanctuary: a home away from home. It is one of the few places they can go in life where they feel truly welcomed, cared for, safe, accepted, and included. It is a place where they willingly receive and openly seek guidance from adults who care.