Coaches Kenneth Stallworth and De'Andre Swanson
Young Men in Action, Central Middle School, Lawton
Central Middle School in Lawton has selected coaches De’Andre Swanson and Kenneth Stallworth as outstanding mentors, recognizing their impact as founders of Young Men in Action, a program that teaches character development, personal responsibility and community service to middle school boys.
“Mr. Swanson and Mr. Stallworth have a passion for helping students succeed,” said Principal Blake Thomas. “They saw a need for young men to grow into responsible, caring adults. They started Young Men in Action to help these students do better academically, socially, and athletically.”
Young Men in Action meets every other Thursday morning in the school gym, with an average of 25 to 30 student attendees. Lessons taught at the meetings often focus on six pillars of character: trustworthiness, fairness, caring, citizenship, respect and responsibility, said Coach Swanson.
“One of the primary objectives of the program is to get the young men who participate to accept personal responsibility for their own actions and accept accountability for the climate of the community in which they are a part of,” Swanson said. “We operate on the premise that, ‘You need to be the change you want to see in the world.’"
Young Men in Action has helped several students to improve their grades and behavior in school, Principal Thomas said. The program has engaged students in many community service projects, including a clothing drive, serving meals to those in need at Thanksgiving, and visiting members at the Veterans’ Center.
“Seeing these boys grow into caring, responsible young men warms my heart,” Thomas said. “These students are really improving their character and grades. I am very proud of Mr. Swanson, Mr. Stallworth and the young men who work together. It has made a big difference at Central Middle School and in our community.”
(Pictured top left: Coach De'Andre Swanson, bottom right: Coach Kenneth Stallworth)
About the Program: Young Men in Action is a school-based, coach-led program at Central Middle School in Lawton that teaches middle school boys about personal responsibility, accountability and healthy choices. The program emphasizes community service activities and character education.