Keystone Program teaches character & leadership skills
The La Conner Club has been implementing the Keystone Program locally with great success. Teens today need support as they strive to attain their goals in life. Through Aaron’s Foundation’s sponsorship of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2014-2015 Keystone Program, La Conner’’s teens are empowered to effect positive change at the La Conner Club and throughout the local community while developing their character and leadership skills, in an effort to create their own path for success.
Each year, the Boys & Girls Club youth identify the most pressing issues facing America’s teens and create a project through their local Club’s Keystone Program to help raise awareness and support the cause. Earlier in May the Keystone Gladiators, as they are called in La Conner, talked about homelessness and learned about the number of families that depend on food banks and shelters to survive. They decided to put on a door-to-door toiletries drive that would benefit the Friendship House, a local organization that specializes in sheltering, feeding, and clothing Skagit County residents in need. Within a week, the Keystone Gladiators received about a half a dozen calls about donations and they collected over 250 items.
Why is the Keystone Program so important to La Conner’’s youth? When compared to their peers, youth who participated in civic engagement programs were less likely to use drugs and drop out of school, and were more likely to attend college, have more positive attitudes toward work and to vote as young adults.