LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - One East Texas woman has dedicated her professional and personal life to ensuring that at risk youth get a second change in life all-the-while teaching these kids the power of community services.
"It's just a win-win," said Benita Bennett, who works with Angelina County juvenile services. "When you help a kid everyone in the community benefits from it."
Bennett says helping at risk youth is more than just her job, it's her life.
"When you give back and the kids by into it oh it's worthwhile," said Bennett. "It's just like a dream come true. We actually have fun doing, serving the people in the community and I'm also teaching them how to give back."
Bennett, Lufkin city councilman, Victor Travis and George Harris work as a team to give East Texas kids ages 10-17 second chances.
Bennett says the youth that come through her office for community service may have received a ticket or a class c misdemeanors.
But volunteers, church groups and other organizations also participate in the Garden of Love project by working in the garden, pulling weeds, tilling, planting and harvesting the crops.
"You know we all make mistakes and sometimes the kids just need a little hope and my job is to give them that hope," said Bennett.
Lufkin city councilman, Victory Travis says, "Community service is very important and we need to let them understand that helping other people is most important in life."
Travis says they have helped hundreds of kids over the years through community service and gardening.
"Community garden is a way to feed people there are lots of people that need fresh vegetables, fruits and vegetables and this is a way that we can help the community as well as help the kids when they come o ut and do work for us it's a resource that is a win-win situation," said Travis.
The kids work in the garden weeding and picking vegetables then they pack them up and deliver them to people in the Lufkin community who need them, free of charge.
Bennett says the kids she works with deserve a second chance
She says the kids learn how fun it is to give back to their community and that's what's most important.