Teen starts lawn care business to help stepfather pay for his adoption legal fees

A 14-year old boy from Cayce in South Carolina has just started his own lawn-care business to pay for the adoption fees his stepfather must pay.

Tyce Pender claims Eric Jenkins, 36, is a father figure to her since she was two years old. He began dating Marcy in 2010, and proposed to her four-years later.

“He’s always been there for us and helps me with anything I need like homework,” Tyce said.


Two years after their marriage, Eric and Tyce discussed the possibility that Eric might adopt Tyce and Tylee’s older brother, Tylee. They were fortunate to find a lawyer who was willing to take on the case for free.

The family will need to spend several thousand dollars on other legal fees, despite their luck in finding such a lawyer.

The brothers and Tierrianna, their stepsister, wanted their parents to legalize adoption.

Tyce Pender operating a lawnmower

“This is important because Eric teaches me respect, independence and what a man is supposed to be,” Tyce explained. “If anything ever happens to my mom, Eric is who I’d want to live with.”

Tyce was aware that court is expensive so he wanted his parents to pay for the adoption.

The teen recalled that Jayden, his 21-year-old brother, used to mow the lawns as a child to earn money.

Tyce thought he could do the same, but he had only used a lawnmower once when he cut his grandmother’s grass. He says he has seen it done by others.

Tyce Pender clearing out a lawn

Eric was touched upon learning about Tyce’s plans to contribute.

“Caring for Tyce is my job,” he said. “His heart is in the right place.”

“I’m glad that he wanted to do this and even if he really doesn’t make anything it’s good for him… We’re very proud of Tyce and he tries really hard and he’s got so many goals,” Marcy said.

Marcy bought Marcy a $192 lawnmower battery-powered last month. The teen then advertised Tyce & Company Lawn Service on Facebook.

“Hi my name is Tyce,” he wrote in the post. “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.”

Tyce & Company Lawn Service's business license

Tyce also mentioned having an electric leaf blower as well as a rake. He was available for school on afternoons and weekends.

Soon after, Tyce got his first customer—a woman named Sarah Larrabee in West Columbia.

Marcy dropped Tyce off at his address and waited in her car for him.

“At first, I was pretty intimated,” he recalled. “But her yard wasn’t that big.”

Tyce finished his first task in just one hour.

“It went so well, he was such a sweet kid, so polite and like, just so happy to be there and excited to have his first job, and it was just so sweet,” Sarah said about Tyce’s service.

Tyce Pender and his lawnmower

Tyce has cut approximately 16 yards so far and earned $400 after working on weekends and after school. He doesn’t have an official price list yet and just negotiates with clients on a fair fee.

He plans to continue his lawn care business after he graduates from high school.

Eric said that Tyce will contribute, but Marcy and Eric will cover most of their adoption costs.

“I’m extremely proud of Tyce,” he said. “He’s a good kid.”

If you’re near the area and want to hire Tyce, you can reach out to him on Facebook or Instagram.

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