HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Courage, respect and a sense of devotion - That's what's being instilled in kids involved in the North Alabama Young Marines.
The organization spends a lot of time giving back to the community, but this time, it's on the receiving end.
Sheryl Herron is the executive officer for the North Alabama Young Marines. Herron thought she was at Calhoun Community College for an informational meeting, but she was there for much more.
WHNT NEWS 19 surprised Herron with $319 in cash.
"Thank you so much," Herron responded. "That is wonderful!"
After receiving the money, Herron immediately turned the attention elsewhere.
"You need to be taking pictures of these guys," says Herron, as she pointed to the group of children in the room. "These are the ones who do the work."
Starting at age 8 through high school graduation, kids involved in the North Alabama Young Marines learn to operate with a sense of discipline and integrity. Whether it's serving veterans, participating in service projects or working with a partnership for a drug free community, Herron says they also find security.
"It's beneficial to the young people because it gives them a feeling of belonging," explains Herron. "It's something that they are a part of."
Thirteen-year old Sarah Baker is one of them. Being a young marine helped her come out of her shell.
"It's actually given me a lot of confidence," says Baker. "I was a really shy person."
Baker also enjoys the drills and physical training.
"We do exercises like running, sit ups, push ups," describes Baker.
The North Alabama Young Marines raises all of its own money for projects and annual trips.