CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – A Chesapeake middle school student who mowed his way into the hearts of many last year is now challenging others to give back to their communities.
13-year-old Phoenix Browne cut 50 lawns for free for the elderly, single parents, disabled and veterans for free. Raising Men Lawn Care Services rewarded him with a new mower, weed wacker and leaf blower.
He took the tips, money some people insisted on giving him, to Norfolk and fed the homeless. “I bought some pizzas from Little Caesars, some chips and water (and) gave it out out there,” Browne said.
That was last summer. This summer, he took up photography and donated his services to his former elementary school, Rise Christian Academy.
“It’s very hard to not be inspired by Phoenix,” said Principal Scherrie Mills.
Browne captured priceless moments with students, updated their social media accounts and mentored the younger kids at camp. “He has such a giving spirit and he always has, even when he was a little kid in 3rd grade all he ever wanted to do was help,” Mills told 10 On Your Side.
Now Browne wants to grow that spirit by challenging others to join him and cut 500 yards in 2022.
“Anybody, any age, just have some fun, see what we can do. Even if it’s not 500 — 100, 200, 300 — I just want to cut some grass that’s all,” said Browne.
As you can imagine his parents are super proud. Mom, Joycelene Tetteh said, “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.”
What matters most to Phoenix right now is the friends he’s making and the lives he’s improving, including his own, as he pushes his mower and pushes himself to grow and give back to the community.
Phoenix is attending Virginia Virtual Academy this year, which he says allows him some flexibility with his volunteer work.
If you would like to join his challenge you can connect with Phoenix on Instagram @curatedbyphoenix.