BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WLNS) – Officials in Benton Harbor have found a way to tackle a few important goals at once. Get the city cleaned up, get kids involved and teach them some life lessons along the way.

A program in Benton Harbor has kids working together tidying up parks.

But this is about more than just cleaning parks.

It’s building connections, discovering the value in hard work, experiencing their first taste of responsibility, and taking to heart the desire for a safer community.

“I learned that I should help people more and to stop caring just about myself,” said Maurianna Williams, a second year in the program.

“Last year I was trying to get more job experience and learn how to manage a real job. This year I came back because we learned more stuff, meet new people, clean up the parks, making Benton Harbor a better place so we don’t have to worry about all the shootings and fights,” said second year Henry Atkins.

Last year, around 50 kids took part in the program. This year, 100 kids participated.

Organizers say they hope to have 150 kids join next year.