LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - A group of Central Middle School students are learning what it takes to become responsible young men and they're doing it by giving back this holiday season.
"It helps young athletes and students to lift each others spirits throughout the school day," said Blake Stirzinger a student at CMS.
"I learned to have a positive attitude and to carry myself because I represent me, myself and my team," said Terrell Buckley.
Blake and Terrell are part of the "Young Men in Action Leadership and Character Development Club." The group started last year and meets weekly.
Blake said the club has had a positive influence on him.
"Last year I was kind of a big bully and this year I have more friends," said Blake. "I don't have that un-positive attraction to other people."
Which is also what Terrell said the program taught him, the characteristics of being a man, which is something he never thought about before joining the club.
"I've learned to be on time and there for others," said Terrell. "And make sure I keep up with my promises I give to other people."
Head basketball coach and group organizer De'Andre Swanson said the purpose of the group is to meet, talk and go out in the community to make a difference.
So, this holiday season he coordinated a winter clothing drive. The group will also help serve Thanksgiving dinner at the Boys and Girls Club.
Swanson said guiding the boys to choose to do the right thing is a lesson he hopes they'll always carry with them.
"I talk to them about their greatest power which is their ability to make a choice," said Swanson. "Choices affect what happens to them throughout their entirety of their lives."
Terrell said this holiday season he chose to give back.
"Imagine if you were in their shoes," said Terrell. "You would want them to donate to you too."
If you would like to donate, they are accepting new or gently worn clothing items for men, women and children. Friday is the last day to give.
Donations can be dropped off at Central Middle School, located at Cache Road and Fort Sill Blvd., during school hours.