One Lawn at a Time: Juvenile Offenders Help Seniors with Lawn Care

The city program helps youths provide lawn-care services for senior citizens after time in the juvenile justice system.

The Washington Post
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Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) helped mow 81-year-old Evelyn Young’s lawn to raise awareness about a new city program in which youths reentering society after time in the juvenile justice system provide lawn-care services for senior citizens.

“No, let me pull it—I got this,” Bowser said, laughing with 18-year-old Jordan Thurman as she started the lawn mower in Young’s backyard in Brookland, Washington DC.

Thurman is one of two youths from the New Beginnings Youth Development Center taking part in the program—dubbed The Grass is Greener—that launched in May and serves 16 district residents on Saturdays. The youths work with mentors from New Beginnings and Carl Matthews, the supervisor of facility operations for New Beginnings, who came up with the idea for The Grass is Greener.

Matthews said he hopes it will help participating youth, who are in the final stage of their stays at New Beginnings, give back to society and ease their reentry into their communities. The program will also help provide young people with “skills they need to go out into the world and get employment,” Bowser said.

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