Teen Mows Lawns to Raise Money So His Stepfather Can Adopt Him

As children, many of us mowed lawns, picked up paper routes, or shoveled snow to make some extra money. Usually, we wanted the money to pay for candy or trips to the movies.

However, for one young boy in South Carolina, the savings were for something more unusual, yet special: Bringing his family together — officially. 

The Special Bond a 14-Year-Old Shared With His Stepfather

man combing little boy's hair
Photo by August de Richelieu

Fourteen-year-old Tyce Pender grew up with his stepfather, Eric Jenkins, as a formidable presence in his life. Eric had been dating Tyce’s mother, Marcy, since 2010. They got engaged in 2014 and married shortly afterwards.

Tyce’s biological father was not in the picture, and Eric stepped into the father role seamlessly, frequently helping with homework and providing everything Tyce and his brother, Tylee, needed.

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After so many years as a de facto family, they really wanted to make it official, hence they started looking into Eric officially adopting the two young boys.

He’s been a father figure to me since I was 2. He’s always been there for us and helps me with anything I need like homework.

Tyce Pender

Tyce, Tylee, their stepsister Tierrianna, and their mother Marcy all wanted Eric to officially adopt the boys, so the two adults started looking into getting it done legally. Marcy and Eric found a lawyer who would help them pro bono, but they still needed a few thousand dollars to cover all of the necessary fees. It would be a financial strain on the family, but it would be worth it.

Why One Teen Wanted to Start a Lawn Mowing Business

person mowing lawn
Photo by Magic K

Tyce decided that he wanted to help. He asked his mother about starting a lawn mowing business, which he decided to call Tyce & Company Lawn Service, in order to make money to help with the adoption. Even though he had only ever mowed one lawn, he had seen his older brother do it frequently and knew could do it himself.

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Tyce’s mother bought him a $192 battery-powered mower and he posted on Facebook introducing himself and his plan to start his own lawn mowing business. He wrote: 

“Hi, my name is Tyce. I am 14 years old and today my mom gave me a business loan and I was able to purchase a rechargeable lawn mower. I do have safety glasses and gloves and I am hoping to find some yards to cut and maybe even maintain them. I go to school during the week and I am available some afternoons and all day on Saturday and Sundays. I also have an electric leaf blower and a rake, too. I am wanting to make this into a business so I can have my own business.”

Tyce quickly got a first customer, a woman named Sarah Larrabee. Tyce gave her great service, and she was very happy to have helped him get the ball rolling on his business. Since mowing her lawn, he has gotten 16 more customers and has been able to contribute over $400 to getting adopted. 

Eric and Marcy were both touched by Tyce’s ambition. He could have earned money to buy himself the newest sneakers or video games, but he decided that what was most important to him was his family. 


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All it takes is one person to change a life.

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