Character & Leadership

Helping youth to become responsible, caring citizens and acquire skills for participating in the democratic process is the main thrust of the programs below. They also develop leadership skills and provide opportunities for planning, decision-making, contributing to Club and community, and celebrating our national heritage.

Keystone Clubs are small chartered group leadership development clubs for young people ages 14 to 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. Funded by the Taco Bell Foundation.

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. The process begins with each Club selecting a Youth of the Year to enter the state level competition and receive a certificate and medallion. State winners receive a plaque and a $1,000 scholarship. The winners then advance to the regional competition. Each of the 5 regional winners receives a $10,000 scholarship and enters the national competition held in Washington, D.C. 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. Sponsored by the Reader's Digest Foundation .
Meet this year's winner!

Torch Clubs are powerful vehicles through which Club staff can help meet the special character development needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their life. 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. The Staples National Torch Club Awards are presented annually to Torch Clubs with outstanding programs and activities in each area. Each year, Torch Club members from across the country take part in a service learning experience through the National Torch Club Project. Cash awards ranging from $500 to $2,500 are presented to the top entries. Sponsored by Staples.



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