FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Feb. 20, 2020) -- A Lawton Public Schools youth leadership group visited Fort Sill Feb. 13, as part of a tour to expose future leaders to the business, civic, and military presence in the community.Apprenticeship, Internship, Mentorship, or AIM, takes high school sophomores who have leadership potential, but may not necessarily realize it, said Mark Mattingly, LPS Student Services executive director. The students are matched with a community mentor to broaden their experiences. AIM also takes them on a two-day outing of the Lawton-Fort Sill community."We want to expose them to some things so that they can begin to see that they can accomplish these things," Mattingly said. Part of the AIM program is to encourage young leaders to remain in the area.At Fort Sill, the 19 students had a 6:30 a.m. start performing physical training (PT) with Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Field Artillery at Honeycutt Fitness Center. They performed the tasks of the new Army Combat Fitness Test."We wanted to give them a little taste of what Army PT is like," said Staff Sgt. Samuel Turner, 2-2nd FA howitzer section chief. "They started off a little rough, but by the end they all were doing pretty well."Capt. Kyle Hays, Fires Center of Excellence G5 Future Operations operations officer, coordinated the post activities for AIM."Our goal is to allow these students to understand that Lawton and Fort Sill are very interconnected, and how we work together," he said. "We want them to experience the post and to enjoy it."After breakfast at the Guns and Rockets Dining Facility, Maj. Rob Ferryman, FCoE G5 chief of Plans and Policy, gave them a motivational talk. He spoke about three life attributes which are important regardless of one's vocation, or avocation.First, a good work ethic is valued in every endeavor whether it is academics, on the job, or athletics, Ferryman said. "Something that is linked to your work ethic is caring. Typically, if you care about it, you work a lot harder."For the second attribute, Ferryman said his father told him when he was 11, that the only thing he was entitled to in this world was the air that he breathed. Everything else one has to earn. "That is life."The third attribute is education, he said. Not just formal education, but self-education, too. "What do you do to make yourself better?" he asked.From the DFAC, the students went to the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, a weapons simulator, where they fired electronic M4 carbines.AIM student Morgan Whelpley-Hoff, age 16, Lawton High School, described the EST as a "million dollar shooting game," which he never knew Fort Sill had.He said he enjoyed the PT because he likes exercising. He added he doesn't have plans to join the military, but that it's worthwhile to know about it.Samuel Sanders, 15, MacArthur High School, said he applied for the AIM program to gain leadership and experience. "I'm going for marketing skills, and my mentor is showing me how marketing works."Sanders said he had only been to the post's Fires Fitness Center. He added that he wasn't very good with the carbine, but it was fun shooting it.The students were also ushered to the Regional Training Support Center, which was next door to the EST. At the RTSC they saw the training aids for common warrior tasks, as well as specialized training.Shiann Freeman, 15, Lawton High School, said she had been on post only a couple times before. "I never knew how big it was, and how much equipment was here."Later, AIM visited the Great Plains Technology Center, Lawton City Hall, and attended a banquet at Cameron University.