Aaron’s Foundation, Inc. Supports Boys & Girls Clubs Teen Leadership Program with New $20,000 Grant

Twenty Boys & Girls Clubs across the country will launch a newly chartered Keystone Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA) premier teen character and social action program, thanks to start-up grants from Aaron’s Foundation, Inc. The Keystone Club program is a teen-driven program designed to inspire service and leadership for members ages 14 to 18. This unique leadership development experience provides opportunities for youth to participate in activities in four focus areas: community service, academic success, career preparation and teen outreach.

Teens from around the country at Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Keystone Conference in Dallas, TX.

“It’s important to create a supportive and inspiring community for our teens, and the Keystone program in Clubs throughout the country does just that,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of BGCA. “By empowering teens through social action projects, we can help them reach their full potential as productive and caring citizens. We are grateful to have a like-minded partner in Aaron’s to help us reach this goal enabling all of our Club teens to achieve a great future.”

The grant comes with a Keystone Program guide, a Race to the Club guide to assist in Teen Outreach efforts, a National Project Kit and chartering information to assist Clubs looking to create, build and strengthen their Keystone programs. Each of the following Clubs will receive the $1,000 grant from Aaron’s Foundation, Inc.:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Lake Eufaula Chattahoochee Courts, Eufaula, Ala.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia Southwood Club, Charlottesville, Va.
  • West Contra Costa Salesian Boys & Girls Club, Richmond, Calif.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford West Middle Community School, Hartford, Conn.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Jackson County Jefferson Unit, Jefferson, Ga.
  • MCAS Yuma Youth Center MCAS, Yuma, Ariz.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Woonsocket, Woonsocket, R.I.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Troy, Troy, Mich.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast Northside Club, Largo, Fla.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Truckee Meadows Libby Booth Elementary, Reno, Nev.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming Greater Casper, Casper, Wyo.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland & Macomb Counties Ferndale Unit, Royal Oak, Mich.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lewis Clark Valley Lapwai Unit, Lewiston, Idaho
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County Goldsboro Unit, Goldsboro, N.C.
  • Community Boys & Girls Club Samuel J. Howie Teen Center, Wilmington, N.C.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Foothills Mary Wilcox Teen Center, Monrovia, Calif.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Buena Park, Buena Park, Calif.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Hot Springs, Hot Springs, Ark.
  • The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Greater Oklahoma Shawnee, Shawnee, Okla.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Coffee County Douglas Unit, Douglas, Ga.

“As sponsor of the Keystone Club program, we’ve seen how much potential teens have to make a difference in the lives of their peers, community members, and themselves,” said John Robinson, CEO of Aaron’s. “With 2016 designated as the Year of the Teen for Boys & Girls Clubs, we are proud to offer 20 new start-up grants to foster teen leadership at Clubs across the country.”

Aaron’s Foundation, Inc. is also a sponsor of the National Keystone Conference, which brings teens together from around the globe to tackle youth issues head-on. This year, nearly 2,300 teen and Club staff attended from 157 cities and five countries attended, making this one of the largest youth leadership conferences in the U.S.

The partnership extends beyond financial support. The Aaron’s team brings its expertise as a lease-to-own retailer specializing in furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, by renovating Boys & Girls Clubs teen centers across the U.S. Aaron’s associates recently volunteered their time in Jackson, Miss. to paint, decorate and furnish the Club’s computer lab, theater and entertainment room and their program space.

In 2015, Aaron’s Foundation, Inc. announced a three-year, $5 million commitment to the Keystone Club program.

About Aaron’s, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN) is a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, and currently has more than 2,000 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada. Progressive Leasing, a leading virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 17,000 retail locations in 46 states. Dent-A-Med, Inc. (DAMI), d/b/a the HELPcard®, provides a variety of second-look credit products that are originated through a federally insured bank. Aaron’s was founded in 1955, has been publicly traded since 1982 and owns the Aarons.com, ShopHomeSmart.com, ProgLeasing.com, and HELPcard.com brands. For more information, visit www.aarons.com. To learn more about Aaron’s Foundation, Inc., please visit www.AaronsGives.com.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) has changed and saved lives, enabling young people to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, some 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve some 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in neighborhoods throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide, providing a wide variety of youth development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. Key programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.