Group learns about hard work through yard work

Published 10:07 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A group of young men has been learning about finances, entrepreneurship and more while doing yard work this spring and summer.

Enlightened Minds Mentoring is leading the group of more than a dozen of their mentees, ages 10 to 17, as the young men cut grass and do other yard work on a donation basis. Leader LA Hill said the initiative started in May.

“We had a lot of stuff going on with kids that had a lot of idle time,” Hill said. “We wanted to give them something to do and something to look forward to as opposed to turning to negative behavior.”


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The mentors asked the young men if they wanted to work on the weekends and got some equipment donated, and so the mentoring group’s yard work initiative was born.

Hill said some of the young men were from rival gangs that came to fellow mentors Patrick Saunders and Domenick Epps when they felt the need for reconciliation.

“They were able to shake hands and work together,” Hill said.

The group has had about 30 yards to do in the last two months. They do trimming, mulch flower beds, remove debris and more in addition to cutting grass. They can come every week or every two weeks or on an as-needed basis, Hill said.

In addition to yard work, the young men are also learning about entrepreneurship and managing their own finances. The mentors teach them about overhead and payroll and how to budget accordingly. And, of course, they split the proceeds of their work at the end of the week, and the mentors teach them about money, managing credit and more.

“We’re trying to teach them how to make an honest dollar,” Saunders said. “It’s important to be keeping them out of the streets.”

Roshawn Holland is also one of the four mentors in the group.

The group has a Facebook page, which can be found by searching Enlightened Minds Mentoring.

For more information, to work, to donate equipment or to get your yard done, call Hill at 286-2672, Saunders at 472-8870, Epps at 292-3716 or Holland at 394-6998.

To donate cash, use Cash App and send it to $EMMentor.