Philadelphia 9-year-old starts summer lawn care service

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Philadelphia 9-year-old starts summer lawn care service
A broken video game controller turned into a life lesson (and a business) for 9-year-old Keith Williams!

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "I didn't know that I would actually be making my own money for once because I used to stay in the house and play video games," said 9-year-old Keith Williams.

That was the lifestyle Williams was most looking forward to after finishing his third-grade year. But things took a turn when his Xbox controller broke - again.

"I decided to make some money," he said. "So, I decided to start a lawn mower business."

With his father's help, Williams produced flyers and distributed them throughout their Roxborough neighborhood. But the hyper-local summer lawn care service spread beyond a couple blocks.

"Someone ended up posting that flyer on Facebook and then kind of went viral," said Williams' father, also named Keith Williams. "So, I've been driving him around every day after 5:30 and on Saturdays and Sundays on all his jobs."

In little time, Williams made enough money to buy a new Xbox controller and then some. But he didn't stop working there.

"I want to save money for my college," he said, citing MIT as a top choice. "I want to be a computer engineer because I want to build an app for people like me who want to start lawn mower businesses."

In addition to saving money, Williams is happy to be meeting neighbors like Clare Richey.

"You don't see this anymore. Like, you know, when we were growing up, we were doing this," said Richey. "You know, I don't have children his age. We probably never really would have crossed paths."

Once school starts again, Williams thinks he will pivot to leaf-blowing or snow-shoveling to contribute to his college fund. But in addition to becoming a computer engineer, he also wants to become a good father.

"My dad plays a very important role with that and he never stops trying to make money and provide for me," he said. "And I also want to be like that for my kids in the future."

Anyone in the Roxborough-Manayunk area who is interested in Keith's Summer Lawn Care services can contact him at 267-282-1446 or

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