The STAR (Students Taking Active Roles) Leadership Training has been recognized as one of the top leadership programs for youth in the country. It began with the belief that youth, when given the proper tools, can have a profound and lasting effect on the community around them. STAR empowers young people to become civically engaged and utilize their unique perspective to create positive change throughout Sarasota County.

STAR Program Success

  • STAR participants utilize skills developed through the program for success in college and careers.
  • 100% of alumni cite their experience with STAR as a leading factor in their future success.
  • STAR participants develop strong ties to the community, and many will seek to return to Sarasota County as adults, when they are ready to start a family.
  • STAR participants graduate: 95% of those in the class of 2014 graduated high school.
  • STAR graduates remain actively involved in their communities beyond college – 97% of SRQVolunteen Training graduates plan to continue their community service efforts.
  • STAR & SRQVolunteen participants understand the importance of being civically engaged – 66% of STAR & SRQVolunteen alumni (ages 18-29) vote, compared to the national average of 45%.

STAR Leadership Training is offered three times a year. The 60+ hour training focuses on civics, government, philanthropy, and the development of leadership, communication and group work skills. STAR students will take part in team-building exercises and problem-solving challenges; they will also have the unique opportunity to see inside the Sarasota County government offices and facilities.

The STAR Leadership Training program is open to youth entering grades 9-12. Training sessions are held in the spring, summer and fall. Students who complete the training may be eligible for academic credit.

STAR graduates can choose to serve in a decision-making position as a full voting member of committees or boards throughout Sarasota County. Serving on these boards counts towards community service hour requirements and enables the students to have a real, measurable impact on issues, programs services throughout the community.

Upon successfully completing the STAR Leadership Training, students may be eligible to serve on a nonprofit board of directors or a city or county advisory board as a full voting member. Students are matched with a position for a one-year term, which can be renewed. There are currently more than 75 boards that welcome a STAR student.

A complete list of boards is listed here: STAR Partner Agencies

The success of the STAR Leadership Training led to a change in the Florida Statutes. In 2009, the Florida Legislature made it legal for youth age 15+ to serve as a full member of a nonprofit board of directors. This makes Florida one of just four states to allow young people to serve in this way.

Summer 2020 dates are listed below. Click to see a full calendar, with descriptions of each training day’s activities.

Venice (Summer A) Location: STAR Tentative Schedule A

Sarasota (Summer B) Location: STAR Tentative Schedule B


Student Information

Summer sessions are now full.

Parent / Guardian Information

I request my child be admitted to membership in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. It is expressly understood and agreed by the undersigned that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County is not liable for the loss of property or injury unless such loss or injury results directly from Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County negligence or the willful act of an employee of the organization. I also grant the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County permission to authorize and obtain medical care in case of illness and injury when neither parent/guardian is available to grant permission for emergency treatment. Under the open door policy, it is understood and agreed that all members may come and go, as they desire. Therefore the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County will not be held liable for your child leaving the building and or/grounds. I fully understand and agree to all of the conditions stated on this form and have counseled my child to conform to these rules and the authority of the employees of the organization. I understand that my child’s membership may be suspended or cancelled any time, the sole decision resting in the judgment of the Director. If my contact information (home phone, cell, address, etc.) changes I will let the Boys & Girls Clubs know immediately. This is a very important safety issue. I understand that if the Boys & Girls Clubs staff contact me regarding my child being sick or hurt that I will pick up my child immediately or make arrangements for them to be picked up. I understand that access to Boys & Girls Clubs’ network and the Internet are designed for educational purposes and the Boys & Girls Clubs have taken precautions to educate members on appropriate educational materials. However, it is understood that no matter how much supervision and monitoring that the Clubs can utilize, there will always be the possibility of my child coming in contact with inappropriate material, and I will not hold the Boys & Girls Clubs responsible for materials acquired on the network.
Member to participate in assessments including but not limited to: Surveys for outcome measurements, schools, household demographics, and customized surveys built for specific programs (i.e.STAR Leadership and SRQ Volunteen). For valuable consideration I, the undersigned, hereby irrevocably consent to and give authorization for my child to participate in Member Assessments used by Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County.
Use of Name, Photograph and Identity in Connection with Advertising and/or Promotion of the organization For valuable consideration I, the undersigned, hereby irrevocably consent to and authorize the unrestricted use by Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County of my child’s name, photographs, works of art and identity in various BGCSC website, social media and collateral material, as well as miscellaneous print publications and other media outlets, and any personal information that I supply to the Companies, in connection with advertising and promotion of the Companies and/or their products in any media, form or material selected by the Companies, without any right of prior review or further approval, whether such advertising and promotion is to the public, to the trade, or both, and in the corporate releases, newsletters and other communications of the Companies; and I hereby waive, and release and discharge said Companies and all agents, employees and officers of the Companies, including their agencies, media producers and customers from, any claims, liabilities and demands, past, present or future, including any that I do not now know of or anticipate arising in the future, none of which would affect my execution of this release if known to me, and waive all rights with respect to such use of my name, photograph, identity, and personal information including but not limited to publicity, privacy, psychological injury and libel.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County will maintain all member files in a confidential manner. I give permission for pertinent information (i.e. all academic information, report card information, state testing i.e: FCAT or tutorial information) may be shared professionally with a Boys & Girls Clubs staff member.