WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A Winston-Salem mother is on a mission to keep her son out of trouble by helping him create a business to stay off the streets.
“He doesn’t have time for group chats. He doesn’t have time for social media. He’s missed out on so much drama,” Shanise Crawford said.
Each yard 12-year-old Eriq Crawford mows puts money in his savings account and keeps him busy in a productive way.
“I say an idle mind is the devil’s playground. And if I keep him busy, I keep him out of that,” Shanise said.
Shanise grew up in Winston-Salem. Violence hit her life as a young teenager.
“My best friend…died when I was 15. She was killed at the shopping center at Jimmy the Greek, and that was rough,” Shanise said.
Lately, she’s watched her city become a target for violence. What worries her is the people involved are getting younger and younger.
“11-year-old that carjacked a woman before school, and all I could think about was my son…and I can’t imagine him carjacking somebody,” Shanise said.
Eriq tells FOX8 that he watches his classmates make some questionable decisions every day.
“I just think it’s the wrong thing to do,” Eriq said. “There’s no reason for that.”
He has a reason to steer clear of the violence.
“I see myself being a successful business person, and this helps me because I learn how to work with people, so I know how to do it when I’m older,” Eriq said.
What started with one mower has turned into a handful of mowers, blowers and weed whackers.
The team has two steady customers and lots of one-time jobs. His work has classmates asking to join him in perfecting lawns.
“If we can show other kids there’s a different way to be a positive role model, then we’re all for it,” Shanise said.
She says her son learns a different lesson in every yard.
“He was going up and down this hill cutting grass, and I told him, ‘that’s pretty much how life is. You have literally ups and downs in life, and you can’t give up,'” Shanise said.
Eriq turns 13 in November and wants to secure a $1,000 job before his birthday.
He’s saving up his money for a riding mower and a trailer or truck for his gear.
Shanise tells FOX8 they should have their LLC, Easy Cutz Lawn Care, established in a few weeks.