Detroit high school kids join Lawn Academy, learn life lessons

- Some Detroit teens are spending their free time helping their neighbors and learning important life lessons - all while sprucing up the neighborhood.

Lawn Academy isn't your ordinary lawn service. It's Detroit high school kids who are doing yard work for seniors - and it's all free. Beyond that, when they're not pulling weeds and cutting grass, they're taking classes, says Lawrence Watkins with the Lawn Academy.

"Turn them into well rounded men. We try to talk with each other by calling each other by our last name Mr, Watkins, Mr. Faison, Mr. Wyatt," Watkins said.

There's also a Ms. - Douglas. Jerikiah Douglas is the only young woman in the program.

I've learned how to time manage and to learn how to work with things when I'm under pressure and also I learned how to mow lawns when I never knew how to do before," Douglas said.

On Friday, they were working at Friendship Meadows Senior Community near midtown.

"We have a group that's going to be coming in tomorrow that is going to be planting flowers and rose bushes for this area," Watkins said.

Amari Yancy has been with the Lawn Academy for two years now and is now the team leader.

"You're giving back to the community, it's something keep you out of the way so you can become a positive, respectful young man," Yancy said.

Lawn Academy is funded through corporate donations and the kids do get paid for all their hard work.

"They have to form a bank account, create a bank account for themselves. once they create a bank account, then they get a debit card," Watkins.

That's a lesson in itself, says Jonathan Faison.

"Yeah I save money. You got to save money becuase if you spend it all, you're not going to learn how to save money later," Faison said.

The seniors are happy and hope that they'll be back next year.

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