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Juvenile offenders in DC mow seniors’ lawns and earn a paycheck

Posted Aug 22, 2013 6:05 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Elderly Washington, D.C., residents are benefiting from a work training program that has juvenile offenders mowing lawns and earning a paycheck.

The youths are participating in a rehabilitation program that offers therapy, drug treatment and job-skills training, the Washington Post reports. The landscape work was added to the program last summer.

One of the youths mowing lawns is Ramon, who will get his juvenile record sealed if he shows up for work on time, respects his boss, and works well with others. He was carrying 80 bags of marijuana when he was arrested.

Now Ramon earns $8.25 an hour, the story says. He spent his first $250 paycheck taking his brother to Six Flags and his aunt to dinner at Dave & Busters. His grades have improved from all F’s last year to B’s in algebra and English, and he passes a drug test three days a week.

Homeowner Alice Warren, 81, told the Post she’s grateful for the help. “These young men do such a good job,” she said. “It’s such a blessing.”

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