Promoting leadership and cultivating future role models is implemented in a variety of programs in our Clubs. We encourage character building through community service projects, programs centered on increasing healthy attitudes, and teen-focused groups that help instill and build leadership skills. Here are a few key programs in our Clubs that increase Character & Leadership:

Keystone Club is a leadership development program that provides opportunities for Club Members between the ages of 14-18 years. Teens participate in activities in three focus areas, in and outside of the Club: Academic Success, Career Preparation and Community Service. Club Members learn the importance of civic service, taking pride in their Club and community, and serving as a role model to their young peers.

Torch Club targets the development needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their life and prepares them for their next stage in life. Club Members learn to elect their peers as officers and work together to implement activities in four key areas: Service to their Club and Community, Education, Health and Fitness, and Social Recreation.


Established in 1947, Youth of the Year is a premier recognition program for Club Members promoting: service to their Clubs, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability.

Each Club recognizes members between the ages 14-18 years as Youth of the Month winners and then selects a Youth of the Year, who then participates in state competitions. State winners each receive a $1,000 scholarship and participate in regional competitions. Five regional winners each receive a $10,000 scholarship and compete on the national level. The National Youth of the Year receives up to an additional $50,000 scholarship and is installed by the President of the United States.

Youth for Unity is a specialized program that celebrates diversity while combating prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination. The program helps Club Members to appreciate themselves as unique and special individuals, understand diversity in society, recognize bias and unfairness and take personal leadership in confronting bias.

NetSmartz teaches Internet safety skills by fusing multimedia activities and offline interaction in three age-appropriate categories: Clicky’s Web World (for Club Members between the ages of 6-7 years); NetSmartz Rules (for Club Members between the ages of 8-12 years); and I-360 (for a Club Members between the ages of 13-18 years). The program includes education about personal safety, shopping safety and ethical use of the Internet, and promotes proper use of digital media.