A Cincinnati man was recently honored for his work helping at-risk youth through his lawn care nonprofit organization. According to an article by the Cincinatti Enquirer, it was ten years ago that Tim Arnold hired one homeless youth to help with remodeling and landscaping. This one job offer turned into something much bigger, and Arnold went on to found Lawn Life, an organization that provides jobs to young adults in need of work and a second chance.
Since its founding in 2008, Lawn Life has provided jobs to nearly 840 young adults. The organization’s mission is to provide at-risk youth with their first job, teaching them the value of hard work and instilling in them the motivation to strive for a better life.
The company hires professional tradespeople who act as mentors for the young employees, teaching them about work ethic and life coping skills along with professional skills. Approximately 80% of Lawn Life’s young employees stay in school or enroll in a trade school.
On June 18, Arnold was honored at the Jefferson Awards, created by the American Institute for Public Service, in Washington, D.C. He was awarded the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefitting Local Communities, the highest public service award possible. The award was created in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft Jr. of Cincinnati, and Sam Beard. The Jefferson Awards are designed to be the Nobel Prize of community service.
The national finalists are chosen through nomination programs in more than 90 communities throughout the country. Arnold was selected earlier this year by the Rotary Club of Cincinnati with local partners the Cincinnati Enquirer and WKRC-TV Local 12.