Washington unveiled the "BE GREAT" campaign Wednesday, asking people to volunteer to help at their local clubs.
"What's going on with children doesn't worry me. What's going on with adults worries me. If we are not more committed to these young people ... they will go as far as we take them, so the onus is on us, not on the children," Washington told reporters. "We've created this world for them, we are the ones that fall and we are the ones that can rectify it."
Washington displayed a campaign ad featuring a photo of himself from the second grade. In the headshot, he's clad in a collared shirt, tie and blazer - much like he was dressed at the event.
"A handsome young man that is," he said. "I have to give credit where credit is due, that begins with my mother not only for giving me life and faith and so much support, but also digging up this photo."
The Academy Award winner, who is national spokesman for the organization, attended a Boys & Girls Club as a child in New York.