Phoenix Brown, a 13-year-old from Chesapeake, Virginia, recently caught the community service bug after learning about the 50-yard challenge from his father. The challenge, created by Rodney Smith, founder of Raising Men & Women Lawn Care Service, encourages young people ages 7-17, to cut 50 lawns for free for the elderly, disabled, single parents, veterans, and anyone in need in their community. Phoenix, apt for the challenge, decided to take his father up on the offer!
“[The Lawn Care nonprofit unites] ordinary yard maintenance service and the commitment to establish an inspiring program to keep our youth (girls & boys) on a positive path while learning and understanding their value in society,” a mission statement on the website reads.
Phoenix was able to meet his goal of cutting 50 lawns for free, earning him a visit from Smith and a reward that included a brand new lawnmower, weed eater, and blower from Raising Men & Women Lawn Care service.
“He’s such a determined young man. Phoenix is my hero, and just like all the other kids in the program, they are my heroes because they’re leading the way, and they’re encouraging America to make a difference in their communities,” Smith told reporters.
His mother, Joycelene Tetteh, also said how proud she was of her son Phoenix, saying the program was so much bigger than just mowing lawns for the teen.
“This program really has helped him to build confidence. I think it has helped with his communication skills, his ability to network; all of those things matter in life,” said Tetteh.
Phoenix got so good at mowing the lawns and helping his community that people began tipping him. Instead of using his tips for his own personal interests, the teen took his tips to Norfolk, VA, where he used the money to feed the homeless, buying pizzas from Little Caesars, chips and water. Phoenix was praised for his efforts and received a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Community Service by Chesapeake Mayor Rick West and The City Council. Already, Phoenix has lent himself to other community efforts, volunteering at his former elementary school as a photographer and helping to mentor younger children.
Recently, Good Morning America and Honey Bunches of Oats awarded Phoenix for his service, gifting him a $10,000 check that he can use to support his future endeavors. The teen said he already knows what he’s going to do with the money.
News Source/ Written by: BOTWC Staff
Phoenix Brown and his family. Photo Courtesy of Good Morning America