US (NC): Guilford County greenhouse program helps at-risk youth

The “Brothers Excelling with Self-Sufficiency to Thrive,” or B.E.S.T program hopes to continue putting at-risk youth on the right path as long as the Guilford County Commissioners approve an extension of their greenhouse lease. Since 2018, the program has been aiming to help at-risk youth stay away from violence and put them on a path to a better future.

“When they first come in here, they’re kind of wild. Kind of disoriented. Don’t know where they want to go…no idea of what they want to do in life. When they leave here, they are better grounded,” B.E.S.T Designer Mark McKenney said.

The hydroponics mentor program focuses on holistic strategies to construct a defense that identifies, attacks, and destroys problems and issues. “The streets are teaching them gang mentality. They’re teaching them thug mentality: how to steal, kill and destroy…that’s not good,” McKenney said.

The program helps at-risk boys referred by the court system or officials inside the Guilford County School District.


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