CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A new weekly program at Central Middle School in Cape Girardeau is bringing boys together, and teaching them they can achieve their goals with some hard work and determination.
The boys are growing into honorable young men, and it's all thanks to volunteers making a difference and donating their time.
They meet in the library of the school and start their meeting with leadership and affirmation.
One boy calls out, and the others repeat.
Youth mentor Kweku Arkoful said these kids long to connect with role models.
"That's all these kids want. They just want to be loved, and have the positive role models there for them," Arkoful said.
For the past four weeks, a group of mentors came to Central Middle.
"Some of them are troubled, a lot of them are really brilliant," said youth mentor Kywy Jean.
These 5th and 6th graders say they are learning a lot.
"We've learned self-confidence, respect, responsibility, organization," said 5th grader Derryl Jones.
"I think that it's good for some of us young men. That it's getting us ready for junior high, and high school, and college and stuff," said 6th grader Keontae Dixon.
The kids work on affirmations, planning for the future and working as a team.
"Cause then it makes me a gentleman," Jones said.
"Is this goal worth working hard to accomplish?" a mentor asked the boys, and they responded, "Yes!"
Not only that, but teaching them personal discipline, and how to believe in themselves.
"They're fun, but they're also – you have to be on time, you have to be ready," Dixon said.
While helping the kids work on their goals a boy told Jean: "I'm not smart."
"Yes, you are smart. You're brilliant."
Something these men learned from their own role models.
"I know what these kids are going through, what their daily lives are like," Jean said.
Something the kids are learning is important.
"It's helping me by like teaching me more manners and, and like, saying yes sir, no sir, and all that," Dixon said.
An experience the kids say, everyone school should have.
"They should. If they don't, they should," Jones said.
The program will run every week throughout the fall 2016 quarter.
If you would like to donate neck ties, dress shirts, or suits for the boys please contact Cape Central Middle School.