Our Story

Every day at the Clubs, stories unfold that show our staff, our families, and our Club kids the most important role of the Boys & Girls Club: to provide our kids with the opportunity to belong, to succeed, to serve their communities, and to share their voice with the world. Club kids have new experiences every day that give them hope. So it’s no surprise that  54% of alumni surveyed nationally say the Club actually saved their life.

A Boys & Girls Club provides

  • A safe place to learn and grow
  • Ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals
  • Life-enhancing programs and character development experiences
  • Hope and opportunity

Formula for impact

Academic Success

Every child should graduate high school on time, college or career-ready with the skills they need to succeed in today’s globally competitive workforce. Clubs partner with youth, parents, schools and other community stakeholders to implement three approaches: academic enrichment and school engagement, targeted dropout prevention, and intensive intervention and case management.

Character & Good Citizenship

Developing America’s next generation of world changers starts today. Our country’s future depends on responsible, engaged citizens and innovative, resilient leaders. Helping youth acquire skills needed to participate in the democratic process is the main thrust of our programs. Through our programming, Club members develop leadership skills, contribute to the Clubs and their community, and improve decision-making and planning skills, all while celebrating our national heritage.

Healthy Lifestyles

Healthy minds need the support of healthy bodies. A future generation of active citizens begins by building healthy habits in our kids. Club programs help develop daily fitness, nutrition education, a positive use of leisure time, reduction of stress, understanding of healthy relationships, appreciation for the environment and social and interpersonal skills.

Our History

The Boys & Girls Club Movement

The Boys & Girls Clubs Movement began in the 1860’s in Hartford, Connecticut. Like many American cities at the time, Hartford had been transformed by the Industrial Revolution, and in order to make a living, adults often worked 12 hour days and six days a week. As a result, children to their own devices, and juvenile chaos reigned. Understanding the potentially dangerous situation at hand, a group of local women took it upon themselves to create a safe place for boys to go after school and on weekends, where they could engage in wholesome pastimes. From these events, the Dashaway Club was born.

As word of the success of this club spread, other cities copied the model. New York, though, was the first to call it a Boys Club. Even though girls had been attending for years, it did not become the Boys & Girls Club until 1990. Today there are more than 4,100 clubs nationally, serving four million kids. Staff and volunteers number in the hundreds of thousands, all of whom are dedicated to shaping these otherwise underprivileged kids into responsible, caring adults. For them it’s not just a job. It’s a calling.

The Club came to Austin in 1967 and over the years it has been guided by some of the most prominent members of our community. Today, we are Austin’s leading youth development agency, serving more than 8,200 members annually (approximately 2,500 per day) at neighborhood clubs, high schools, middle schools and elementary schools. Every day, kids are exposed to dozens of life enhancing programs that enrich them both academically and socially. It’s been proven that kids who are engaged in meaningful, supervised activities while not in school have better school attendance, earn better grades and are more likely to attend college. The Clubs are more than just safe havens for kids at risk, but daily examples of how good life can be when young people are nurtured, inspired, and encouraged to reach their full potential. Through the Clubs, kids are given the tools and opportunities needed to create their own destinies.