CLEVELAND — East 119th Street on Cleveland's east side is all a "buzz."
There are kids donning protective gear, and for a very good reason, their enthusiasm growing as they get into their beekeeping suits.
Some are a little snug, and some are way too big, but the kids don't mind. They are learning all about beekeeping.
Entrepreneur Trey Williams owns Hood Honey. He's giving back to the community on the property where his grandmother's home once stood, raising vegetables and bees as chief environmental officer with the nonprofit "Leaders of Our Future America."
Trey explains how he got started. "There's an old African proverb that states, 'If you catch a swarm in your backyard, the ancestors want you to do something,'" Trey says when asked how the program got started.
Williams had a swarm, so he did something, along with his biggest student, Alex Polley, who he coached in baseball.
"It's about bringing people up," Alex told us. "It's about raising the vibrations. It's about learning about nature. You know, I've never been this in-tune, because I met this dude, Trey."
Bees are fascinating creatures, and studying them can teach us a lot about ourselves, which helps Williams and Polley show the kids where they fit in.
"Everybody has a job, and everybody does the job, just like the Browns could have done on Sunday," Polley joked, his laughter echoing through the vacant lot. "If everybody does their job, we'd be good."
These kids of LOOFA soak up knowledge about the bees and agriculture like sponges, making the connection to all that's around them. Williams has really tapped into showing the kids the natural systems at work, and how they succeed. His passion for the community really shows.
"It's super important to get kids — especially kids in this area who look like me — really involved in nature," he said. "Taking this knowledge, this eye-opening experience, and get them to move forward and do other things like fixing the problems around here."
With Leaders of Our Future America, Williams and Polley are growing much more than vegetables and honey here on Cleveland's east side; They're growing the future.
Funds for the classes come from grants and GoFundMe donations from the public. If you'd like to support their programs, click here.