Troubled teen turns life around, starts lawn care business in High Point

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Gov. Pat McCrory is taking notice of a young man who has turned his life around.

Fifteen-year-old Marcus Thomas of High Point has his own lawn care business. Whether it’s raking, tree trimming or mowing lawns, he’s in high demand.

"I love working. It keeps me busy. It makes me feel better that I can make people smile about their yard. People drive by and they're like, 'dang that's a nice yard’”, Thomas said.

Besides enjoying the work, his business is a daily reminder of how he was given a second chance after going down a rough path.

"I started hanging with the wrong people and doing hardcore drugs. It wasn't marijuana. It was pain pills, opiates and benzos and things like that. I was getting head over heels basically,” said Thomas.

Both of his parents are in prison and he was being raised by his great-grandparents in Randolph County. Thomas was sent to live with his grandmother in High Point. His great-grandparents have since passed away.

"He was very angry. He felt like he didn't have anyone who understood him. He didn't understand why is parents made the decisions that they made,” Christal Herbin, Community Intervention Manager with Eckerd, said.

Eckerd is a program that specializes in giving challenged and often misunderstood youth a second chance.

The program has helped provide Thomas with coping skills and build his confidence. Eckerd also provided him with a laptop to organize his lawn care business.

Recently, McCrory’s office contacted Eckerd for success stories. Thomas was nominated and later received a special certificate from McCrory acknowledging his turn around.

"It feels good to know that the governor is on my side instead of against me like a criminal, instead of trying to put me down, he's trying to pull me up,” he said.

Thomas hopes people in similar situations will learn from his new start.

"Find somebody that will help you,” he said. “Find somebody that will help you get away from the people who are giving or feeding you drugs. It's not worth it; it’s not."

Thomas is saving to buy his own lawn mower. The one he is using now is borrowed. In the future, he wants to have a large landscaping company.




  • felicia

    I give hats off to this boy very well said and an smart thinking and some very good edvise to those that are out there thinking taking drugs and getting in to trouble is fun so I give promts to you very smart thinking for your age!! :)

    • Judy Julian

      Hey this is his Grandmother Judy if you would like to donate please feel free to give me a call at (336)989-2879! Thanks for all the support(:

      • MattandDolly Strand

        Judy, I have a brother that did a 360 with his life. This story dug deep in my heart because of I’ve seen first hand at what a complete turn around does. Your young man is in my prayers. God is Awesome and can do amazing work in our lives when we allow him in.

  • Connie

    I applaud you Mr. Thomas. Good luck with your business.

    Note to Fox 8: Please do a follow up story with this young man. And include his contact information. I would be honored to employee him to do my yard.

    • Judy Julian

      Hey you can give me a call at (336)989-2879 thank you so much for all the support(: means a lot!

    • Judy Julian

      Hey thanks so much for all your support(: We really appreciate it alot…you can give us a call at (336)9892879

  • Beth Bacon

    Awesome job! You are an inspiration to soo many people! I have a great extra mower that I would like to donate. Its a push mower, but works great and needs to be put to good use. If there is anyway to donate please let me know!

    • Judy Julian

      Hey thank you so much that would be helpful of you! Thanks for the support and you can give us a call at (336)989-2879(:

  • Jessica

    I lived on the same street as Marcus for years. Alot of these statements are not facts. He was made to leave his grandparents house after he flipped out & punched his grandfather & continuously stole from the whole neighborhood. Almost 6 months later his great grandmother died, followed by his grandfather. Marcus had already been out of their care almost a year. And he wasn’t using all those drugs, he claims that for attention from the Staley kids he tried to impress. Much more wrong with this article but glad he’s seemed to straighten up.

    • heresyoursign

      I hope you feel better now that you have passed on your judgement and injected your negativity even if it was factual or not. He is trying to rise above. Its ignorant people like you that keep people down.

  • richard

    Kudos to Marcus,Ms Herbin,and the grandmother.It is so enlightening to see a positive story involving todays youth,it offers a glimmer of hope for our future.To Marcus,I would say continue to pound the ground and make yourself and future family a profitable and law-abiding future.Im sure you know their are bumps along the way but thats just life and neither will last forever.Good job to all involved and keep up the good work…

  • Taylor Walker

    Marcus you was my buddy I remember dropping you off at your house one day and then never seeing you again I miss you a lot your an amazing guy no matter what anybody said about you I always knew you would be there for anybody one day I knew was going to keep your head held high and succeed in life I had faith in you and always will!! I am proud of you I hope your still doing great! and I am really sorry about your loss I wish I could of been there as a friend for you……but I did ask around about you after that day because I worried about you! well ill see you around hopefully good luck with life and I am really proud of you!

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