Teens take the lead in Yellowstone County!   Thanks to a very generous gift from the Nance Family Foundation, the Keystone Club launched on September 1, 2020.   Keystone Club is Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier Teen leadership program.   Founded nationally in 1964, Keystone Club provides Teens with an opportunity to make leadership decisions, serve others and engage in experiences that help to shape their knowledge of academic, career, community service and teen outreach initiatives and projects.

The Nance Family Foundation’s sponsorship of the Keystone Club sparked our Club to embark on a local Keystone Club.  It has been a huge success so far!   The group has been creative around COVID-19 and have engaged Club members between the ages of 14-18 from all four of our Teen programs.   The group holds bi-weekly meetings and have elected officers; Bayleigh, President; Dashia, Vice President; Kasey, Treasurer and Macee, Secretary/Marketing Manager.   The group enhanced Macee’s secretary role by including marketing responsibilities; which they realized early on they would need to launch, recruit and promote the success of Keystone.

Juanita and Paige, Club staff partners who help guide the Keystone Club, have been overly impressed with the dedication and drive the Keystone members have shown in just a short time.  Juanita shares, “We took a few weeks off in December, due to the holidays, and I have had multiple members contact me with ideas for the New Year.  They have been creative around COVID and I am excited to see what the group accomplishes this year.”  Paige echoes, “having only been in this position for one month, I am genuinely impressed by Keystone member’s hard work and dedication.   They have come up with so many ideas on their own for future projects.  I am excited to watch them grow and achieve some of their goals.”

The group is focused on growing Keystone membership and setting goals that focus on four key areas: Community Service, Academic Success, Career Preparation and Teen Outreach.  Already, since September, the Keystone Club has collected and donated items like toiletries, masks and food for Tumbleweed, the Montana Rescue Mission Men’s Shelter and the Children & Women’s Shelter.  They have built a partnership with a Key Club at one of the local High Schools and they are working to gain charter status with Boys & Girls Clubs of America.   Once chartered the local Keystone members will have opportunities to network and exchange ideas with other Keystone Clubs around the country, access to additional resources and attend National Keystone Conference; although this year due to COVID-19 the conference will likely be virtual.

Thank you to the Nance Family Foundation for their passion to have an even deeper impact on our community’s youth.   The Nance Family Foundation’s sponsorship of the Keystone program enhances the Club’s ability to empower, influence and provide Teen members with the tools and skills necessary to graduate from high school, prepare for the job force and equipped to have a positive impact on our community.