The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) is to inspire and enable youth ages 6 to 18 to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis envisions a future in which success is within reach of every child in the St. Louis region, empowering themselves and influencing future generations toward making a difference for themselves, their community and the global community.
Since 1967, BGCSTL has been providing a safe place for children to learn and grow. The Club now serves over 9,500 kids, including 4,000 registered Club members at four sites and within several other schools in the St. Louis region. The Club is open during hours that kids are most likely to need a safe place to go — after school and during summer.
We serve kids in more than 90 zip codes, and our average daily attendance is over 450 youth. 36 board members, 95 full- and part-time staff members, and 750 volunteers work diligently to create, implement and sustain programming that nurtures the growth and self-esteem of members. Volunteers donate roughly 30,000 hours of their time annually.
Nearly all of the youth we serve are growing up in single-parent households and are considered low-income. Club members often face multiple challenges, such as lack of income for basic needs, dilapidated housing, family instability, and exposure to violence and drug use. To meet those challenges, BGCSTL offers high quality, comprehensive programs which address the wide range of risks faced and skills needed by youth.
Our Formula for Impact
BGCSTL’s “Formula For Impact” is a research-based theory of change that calls for us to consistently provide the most powerful Club experience possible by implementing the Five Key Elements for Positive Youth Development, offering high-yield activities, providing targeted programs, and encouraging regular attendance – all of which we know help youth achieve priority outcomes.
The Five Key Elements for Positive Youth Development are:
- Creating a safe, positive environment
- Having fun
- Developing supportive relationships with caring adults
- Offering opportunities for and having high expectations of members
- Recognizing members for who they are and their achievements
In addition, Clubs promote the importance of regular attendance. The level of impact a Club has on young people depends on the frequency of their participation and attendance.
Combined, these efforts result in positive youth outcomes in three key impact areas:
- Youth demonstrate increased engagement in school and learning, and show improved Academic Success. Our vision is that every member progresses to the next grade level on time and graduates with a plan for the future.
- Youth demonstrate an increase in Good Character & Citizenship through positive character traits, civic engagement, and making contributions to their community. Our vision is to inspire a generation of civically engaged youth who balance self-concern with concern for others.
- Youth leading Healthy Lifestyles demonstrate improved healthy habits and decision-making skills and show a strong commitment to leading a healthier lifestyle. Our vision is to empower youth to make healthful choices.