Tag Archives: The Other Way

Meet Another Member of the Y.E.S. Lawn Care Team

Name: Geraud

Age: 17

School: Union High School

Summer Job: Y.E.S. Lawn Care

Potential Career: Vet

Favorite Subject in School: English

This is Geraud’s 2nd year working for Y.E.S. Community Lawn Care. His friends recommended it to him last summer and he did it for the money at first but now he says there is much more to it than that. “We learn about God, go on college visits, go to the beach, learn from all the speakers that come in.”

What is your favorite part of your job? Meeting new people

What is the most important thing you’ve learned? Professionalism. When you’re cutting the grass and something happens that makes the customer angry, it may not have been you, but you need to show them respect and act professional.

How you could use those skills in the future? I think I might want to be a vet. Someone might come in worried with an injured pet and I would need to calm her down, show her respect and act professional.

What are some other skills you’ve learned here that will help you in the future? Chemical Bank taught us how to interview last year. They said it’s important to keep eye contact and not to be nervous.

What is your goal for this summer? I’ve always been named “Hardest Worker” on all of my sports teams and in school. I want to be known as the hardest worker here too.

Thanks to Geraud, Lindsey & Fred for sharing all of their experiences so far this summer!

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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Guest Post, Y.E.S. Supervisor Lindsey

As of this week, the YES Program has hit its half-way point for the summer of 2011. After talking with some of the kids today, we were talking about how lucky we were to have such an incredible crew this summer. Perhaps it is because this is my crew so I am biased, but I really do think that they are above average in work ethic and character.

As with any group of high school students who are thrown together with the only things they have in common being the neighborhood they live in, or the mascot of Union High School where they attend together, it takes time to build those relationships in this new community. Though a lot of these kids knew of each other, they wouldn’t have considered each other to be friends. I am seeing now, as we are about to finish the fifth week together, that they genuinely enjoy each other. We as a group are laughing a lot more and talking about things that matter. I have even had the opportunity to see them holding each other accountable and encouraging each other to be on time and work hard. As I was talking to one of the workers, he said:

“You know Lindsey; some people think that this is just about mowing lawns, and that’s cool and all, but this is a lot more than that. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m proud to come to work and to be expected to work hard. I like feeling like I have something to offer in my neighborhood.”

That felt good to hear. This program is so much more than mowing lawns, it is about empowering these kids to see that they have something to offer, they have the abilities to be a valuable employee and to take pride in who they are and what they can accomplish. It is also very much about trying to expand their worldview, trying to get them to see past the space between Bridge Street and Park, so they can come back and see their streets with a different lens. And of course, the belly laughter that comes with is just a beautiful bonus.

As for the second half of the summer, we are jam packed visiting three more colleges, including my stomping ground, Hope College. As well as visiting with politicians and professionals in the West Michigan community and taking an afternoon to go to the beach and Michigan Adventure. We are going to set an afternoon aside to make resumes and prepare for our mock interviews at Chemical Bank the last week of the program. We are in the groove now, gotten past our learning curves, and are ready to buckle down and do some meaningful, lasting work together.


Y.E.S. Supervisor, The Other Way Ministries

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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Y.E.S. Community Lawn Care

The Youth Employment Service (Y.E.S.) Program at The Other Way Ministries is a 12-week summer program that gives local teens the opportunity to gain work experience and more through Y.E.S. Community Lawn Care. This week I caught up with Program Supervisor, Lindsey, and a few of the Y.E.S. employees to see how this summer is going…

Lindsey, Y.E.S. Program Supervisor

Lindsey is a senior at Hope College and this is her first summer working with the Y.E.S. program at “The Other Way.” She describes Y.E.S. as a multifaceted program: “Job skills and learning how to relate to bosses, co-workers and customers is a huge part of the program, but there is much more to it. The kids actually work 3 out of 5 days. One day we devote to character development,other days we go on college visits or have professionals from the community come in to speak. We bring in speakers to talk about things like making yourself employable or interview skills.”

Y.E.S.Community Lawn Care provides lawn care services to residents of Grand Rapids west side neighborhoods. Employees walk to customer homes with mowers and supplies from “The Other Way” Ministries, located on West Fulton.

Working on the Y.E.S. team gives teens a chance meet lots of people and lend a hand to those in their community. Y.E.S. Community Lawn Care offers their services at a discounted rate to customers over age 55 in hopes of helping to bridge the generational gap. “We want to show young people how they can help older folks in the community while helping older customers see them as good kids and hard, honest workers.”

Fred, Y.E.S. Assistant Supervisor

Meet a Y.E.S. Summer Employee…

Name: Fred

Age: 20

School: GRCC

Summer Job: Y.E.S. Lawn Care

Potential Career: Business

Favorite Subject in School: English

This summer marks Fred’s 5th year working for Y.E.S. This was his first job when he started as a freshman in high school and now has worked his way up to an Assistant Supervisor position.

Why have you kept coming back to work with the Y.E.S. program? It has kept me out of trouble and I get to do something I really like. I also come to youth group and other programs at “The Other Way.”

What is your favorite part about the job? Being around people in the community.When you are walking around in the Y.E.S. uniform, people notice and will say hello or bring you lemonade. It makes you feel really special.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned? Self-respect. We’ve learned a lot about self-respect and how you need to give others that same respect, which is important when working with our customers.

What you can you take from this job that will help you in future positions? I think I want to go into business because I can go out and talk to people about what I am doing and how it helps the community. [And he will be able to tell his future employers how he worked his way up to a leadership position]

What is your goal for this summer? To work my best and show the youth I am working with that it will help them in the future because your first job is very important no matter how small it is.

I will be back soon with more updates from the Y.E.S. Community Lawn Care team. Keep an eye out for their green shirts walking around the west side – they’re doing great work!

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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in Uncategorized


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