Boys & Girls Clubs of America Releases Youth Right Now Report

Boys & Girls Clubs of America, one of the nation’s largest youth-serving organizations, has recently released their Youth Right Now report – a survey of more than 130,000 kids and teens, which highlights their feelings about their mental health and well-being, academics, future educational and career prospects, and the social issues impacting their generation, among other critical matters.

Featuring responses from Boys & Girls Club members, ages 9 to 18, across racial and ethnic backgrounds, and located in communities throughout the country, the organization believes it is the nation’s largest data set on youth and an informative look into how America’s young people are feeling in a unique time to grow up.

Among key insights, the survey finds that young people feel hopeful and prepared for their futures, despite national concerns such as student loan debt and the rapidly changing workforce. A majority (75%) report that they intend to go to college, and more than half (62%) say they feel confident they have the skills needed to be successful in a job. Youth are also savvy about what it will take to reach their goals – 93% of 11th and 12th graders feel they know what education or training they need for the career they want, and 91% know the costs to expect.

Conversely, potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, like increased social media use, weakened interpersonal skills, and mental health struggles continue to create challenges for young people. Seventy percent of youth report they can’t stop worrying when something important goes wrong in their life, while nearly half (47%) say if they don’t understand something right away, they stop trying to understand. And a notable number (40%) say they were bullied at school in the past year, while 18% of youth surveyed admit to being bullied online.

“Surveying our youth has been a valuable tool to inform and improve services at Boys & Girls Clubs for more than a decade,” said Dr. Tanisha Grimes, National Vice President of Youth Development at Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Board Member for the National Afterschool Association. “Insights like those in Youth Right Now help ensure Clubs have the supports available that youth need most, and that staff are trained to meet any critical needs—from trauma-informed mental health resources, and spaces that foster emotional regulation, to programs that nurture the leadership and academic success of Club kids and teens.”