There's no secret handshake -- or specific gender -- required to get into this club, only the desire to have fun. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) runs after-school programs throughout the US in an effort to give children and teenagers a safe and supervised environment. Operating through local affiliates, BGCA has some 4,000 locations serving more than 4.1 million youth. Members engage in sports, recreation, and fitness activities, as well as in programs centered on character development, leadership, and life skills. BGCA alumni include Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Martin Sheen, Michael Jordan, and Queen Latifah. Founded in 1906, the organization traces its roots to 1860.
BGCA supports the Native American community through its Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country program. The effort focuses on at-risk children to help them learn and grow so that they can change their lives and their surroundings. BGCA serves some 140,000 Native American youth through more than 200 clubs.
BGCA aims to make its programs affordable to all youth and keeps its dues low, averaging $5 to $10 per year. – less