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CNN Recognizes Alum for Service

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A few years ago, an Alabama A&M University graduate has received international acclaim for his unselfish endeavor to provide quality lawn care to persons in need in each of this country’s 50 states.


Not only has Rodney Smith, Jr., achieved the 50 lawns/50 states project—aided by Briggs & Stratton, an international lawnmower engine maker—but he transformed into Santa to expand his reach in a new slate of locations, as well as to provide gifts to the homeless throughout the recent holiday season. 


CNNArticle.jpgThe AAMU Master of Social Work alumnus was placed among CNN’s “5 People Who Inspired Us This Year.”  The national list by the cable icon included fellow 5-year-old Alabamian Austin Perine of Prichard, Ala., who feeds the homeless and who is likely tied to several AAMU Perine alums from the area; teenager Kevin Barber who launched pilot program in San Diego that pays the homeless and hourly wage to clean up the streets; Principal Akbar Cook of Newark, N.J., who combatted school absenteeism by setting up a laundromat so that poor students can wash their clothes; and Erica Guido, a suburban mom making an impact on Detroit’s inner-city community.


Through awareness received for his 50 Lawns project, Smith was able to fund his Raising Men Lawn Care Service foundation, enabling him to enhance his mission and provide additional assistance to the homeless.


Already, Smith is making plans to launch a seven-continent, seven lawn campaign to champion service to mankind throughout the world.



- J. Saintjones

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