Celebrating Denzel Washington and The Presidential Medal of Freedom

What a way to close National Boys & Girls Clubs Week but with the news that Denzel Washington has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom!  Denzel has been the national spoksperson for Boys & Girls Clubs of America since 1992.  

Denzel knows firsthand the life-changing difference the Club can make in a kid’s life. At age 6, he joined the Boys Club of Mt.Vernon, N.Y. There, Club director Billy Thomas instilled in Denzel that, with dedication and hard work, he could achieve anything he set his mind to. At Billy’s request, past members who went on to college would bring him school pennants. Hung in a hallway near the gym, the pennants inspired Denzel and his fellow members that they, too, could become college students.

A two-time Academy Award winner, Denzel has used his celebrity to raise unprecedented awareness of Clubs. In interviews, he always mentions the positive impact the Club Experience has had on his life, including, for instance, recent cover stories in Delta Sky magazine and AARP: The Magazine.

BGCA Spokesperson Denzel Washington stars in the Where’s Your Card public service announcement.

His personal contributions to Boys & Girls Clubs are staggering. They include appearances in five public service announcements, donating all proceeds of his best-selling book on mentoring to Clubs, and stirring audiences as keynote speaker at National Youth of the Year ceremonies.

Since 1996, Denzel has served on our Board of Governors. He is a member of the BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2004, Denzel was presented with the highest volunteer honor, the Herbert Hoover Humanitarian Award. 

On behalf of the nearly 4 million kids served at some 4,000 Clubs and affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations: Thank you, Denzel, for all you have done for Club Members and all youth in our country.