LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - This week, students at Eisenhower High School are holding their first-annual week-long philanthropy event.
The event is called Beak Week, with beak standing for building empathy and kindness. Each day there have been different events and assemblies to raise money for New Directions Women's Shelter in Lawton.
Wednesday's event was a pageant where students could buy tickets to watch 11 students compete to be named Mr. EHS. All the money raised will go to New Directions Women's Shelter, which provides services to women who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, which the students feel is a very important cause.
"I haven't gone through any of that, but I know having to go through that would be stressful, so just being a helpful hand to somebody in the community who might need something," said Alya Figueroa, EHS student body vice president.
There were several charities students considered supporting, but ultimately, they feel they made the best choice.
"The Salvation Army and the food bank are great organizations but sometimes smaller organizations like New Directions Women's Shelter get overlooked so we wanted to target that specifically because it affects Lawton," said EHS student body president Kyndall Erricson.
The students said they are thrilled with how involved everyone has been.
"If the adults can do it, the students can do it too. This is entirely student-led, with the help of our advisor, but it's great that the students can do something like this," said Erricson.
"People have participated, stepped out of their comfort zones. Us leadership kids have stepped out of our comfort zone. So, I think it's just a good week that we've pushed each other and come together," said Figueroa.
And while this is the first beak week, senior leaders hope it won't be the last.
"It's also creating an atmosphere in our school of doing nice things for other people and spending a week focusing on other people and being a good person," said Erricson
"Keep it up and do better than we did this year. Learn from our mistakes and just get better," said Figueroa.
The students started raising funds back in the fall with dress a drive. Their original goal was to raise $18,000. So far, they've raised about $10,000. There are more fundraising events going on at the school on Thursday.