When my ride-on mower gave up the ghost awhile back, I hired a landscaping company to cut the grass and trim my lawn every few weeks. They did a great job but eventually ran out of customers in my neighborhood. Subsequently, the owner bailed on me claiming it was too far to drive to Greenbrier from James City for only one lawn to cut.
Fortunately, I came across another grass mower that was being promoted by his mother on the local web page, “Next Door.” I called and spoke to Cody Young’s mother who arranged for him to begin working on my lawn. The reason I called her was that she mentioned in her messages that Cody was 14 years old and looking for summer work. As we all have a soft spot for teen entrepreneurs, I was delighted to hire him to work for me. Little did I know I was getting much more than a kid making a little extra money.
After several trips to my house to cut the grass, I began talking to his assistant who turned out to be his father, Richard Young. The proud dad told me that Cody has been running a landscaping business since he was 12 years old and now has 41 customers. This is his third year heading up Young’s Lawn Service. By the looks of things, he’s almost got more than he and his dad can handle. I feel really good being on his list of customers and contributing to his summer income. Earnings, by the way, that many people would consider quite ample.
Delving into the personality of this live wire, Cody told me that the hard part is balancing schoolwork and lawn mowing. As he’s an honor student receiving straight “A’s,” Cody has his priorities well under control. No problem there. This year he’s going into the ninth grade at Early College East. When he graduates in five years, he will have completed both high school and two years of college. His goal is to study for his BS in some branch of engineering, but exactly which one, he hasn’t yet decided.
If all this wasn’t remarkable enough for a 14-year-old, who incidentally is quite eloquent in explaining himself, he is also a philanthropist donating all of his extra tip money to the ALS Foundation of NC in his grandfather’s name. The Lou Gehrig’s disease foundation that receives Cody’s generous donations also benefits from his challenge to his competitors to make matching donations. Many of them have stepped up and are contributing up to $1000 to the cause. So far this season Cody has donated $493 and is just getting started.
“What else is on his plate,” I asked. His dad told me Cody is in training to participate in the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation Tournament in Florida later this year. Like his studies and the lawn service he runs, Cody is a young man with clear ideas about his goals and what he wants out of life.
If you would like to contact Cody to cut your grass this summer with his brand-new high-end mower, you can call him at 252-349-5863. He might be booked up. If he’s available, you will not be disappointed.
By Jerry Scott