Mission Statement

To inspire and enable all young people, especially those that need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.

Our Philosophy of Service

  • Our programs are designed to develop Competence, Usefulness, Belonging and Influence in young people, changing their lives for the better.
  • We seek to serve first those youth from disadvantaged circumstances. We understand that “disadvantaged circumstances” are situations where children do not have adequate access to resources, guidance or developmental experiences.
  • Our operations, in business and in youth development, are measured and continually improved to ensure maximum effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability.
  • We collaborate whenever such collaboration is mutually beneficial to our members, their families, our partner’s organization and our own.
  • We minimize capital expenditures and the ownership of buildings by partnering with schools and other organizations to serve youth in their facilities. NO BRICKS!
  • We believe that every recipient family can and should contribute to the mission.


Afterschool youth development following our proven model in every elementary school.

Why Great Futures Start Here:

We operate 12 Clubs in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties. Historically, BGCU has purposefully located Clubs in high poverty schools in order to have the greatest impact on the greatest number of youth. Currently we serve over 1,100 children each day after school.

For more than 30 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Upstate (BGCU) has delivered on our promise to provide area youth with the support needed to reach their full potential. BGCU has a proven and effective approach: provide youth with a safe, positive, accessible place to go; surround them with trained and supportive staff; and offer programs that are outcome-focused, educational, and age-appropriate.

BGCU’s goal is to deliver programs that create happy and healthy children today, which builds a foundation of success for tomorrow. This begins with the imperative to provide a safe environment that keeps kids engaged, active and happy in the hours after school and during the summer. Research shows that during periods of idleness and boredom, kids are vulnerable to peer pressure, violence, and other risky activities. The risks are even higher for children from disadvantaged circumstances. We minimize those risks by engaging young people in activities with positive mentors and peers, enabling them to learn powerful life skills.

We collaborate to make our Club Experience even greater. Partners bring their expertise and we provide the kids. We have passed-through well over $1 million to our program partners during the past decade. Our partners are good to include us in their budgets when we do not have the funding.

Collaboration is the foundation of our organization’s NO BRICKS POLICY. Public schools and churches host our Clubs at no cost, making greater use of their facilities and enabling us to efficiently reach large groups of children in high poverty areas. Spartanburg County School Districts 1, 2, 3 and 7 and Cherokee County School District currently host our afterschool programs.

We operate in partnership with United Way of the Piedmont who reviews our program plans, results, and funding on an annual basis. Our organization has won eight program excellence awards from the United Way over the past decade. We receive eight percent of our funding from the United Way Community Impact Fund for Education. Learn more about the United Way at www.uwpiedmont.org.