One triangle high school student says his life was heading down the wrong path. Another says he was looking for a place to belong.
But instead of turning to gangs the young men joined a different type of brotherhood.
They say they are a part of a national fraternity of young high school men promoting positivity.
Eyewitness News visited the group of students at Riverside High School, to find out just how the fraternity is changing lives.
Ellis Monroe, Javon Rustin and Chaucey Burgess are members of Theta Phi Psi.
"We are bunch of brothers in a group just trying to do the right thing and give other brothers an opportunity," Monroe said.
"This is kind of a safe outlet instead of gangs or going doing something that's inappropriate," Rustin added.
Skills that have helped students like Frederick Palmer; he says a year ago he wasn't focused on school.
"Now I started saying, dang I'm in 10th grade I need to get right I'm messing up," he said.
Palmer says one of his childhood friends was killed, but he says he has learned to use his experiences to help influence others.
"You have some people that want to be bad not even knowing what they are even doing in life," Palmer said.
He also said with the fraternity, "there's no jail time --no potential from death associated being in this group there no lifetime commitment-- beat you in, beat you out."
The Riverside chapter of Theta Phi Psi has 19 members.
There are also chapters at Hillside and Southern High Schools. They meet once a week and do a lot of volunteering and tutoring.