Tried and True Small Engine Social Enterprise

Tried and True Small Engines

Tried and True Small Engines is a Lakes Center for Youth & Families social enterprise program that allows youth to gain work experience. Tried and True will give youth a look at what it takes to run a small business, as well as get hands on experience with small engines under the supervision of a professional mechanic.

Please visit our Tried and True website for more information on the topics below:


Youth Mechanic Information

Tried and True is an exclusive opportunity. We are looking for youth that have a genuine desire to get into a career in the mechanical field.  Selected participants will have previous experience with small engines and/or other mechanical work experience.

Youth will be able to participate in the program for a 72 hour rotation. The shop schedule is 3:30pm-6:30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays OR 9:00am-1:00pm on Saturdays. All youth must fill out a Tried and True Small Engines application and come in for a formal interview with the program manager. During the interview, we will determine if the applicant is a good fit for Tried & True.

Machines for Sale

Please visit our Tried and True website or visit our Facebook page to view machines for sale.


Tried and True Small Engines relies significantly on donations of small engines from community members. If you don’t want to put any more elbow grease into your small engine- donate it to Tried and True! It’s tax deductible! We will take anything from a weed whip to riding lawn mowers; as long as it still has some life left in it, we’ll take it!

Consider making a tax-deductible monetary donation! Send a check to Lakes Center for Youth & Families with "Tried and True Donation" on the memo line (20 Lake Street North, Suite 103, Forest Lake, MN 55025) or donate directly online (click "Add special instructions to the seller" and type in Tried and True)

Adult Volunteers

Tried & True will always have a need for a handful of trustworthy individuals to participate in our “Trailer Club.” Trailer Club volunteers would be responsible to assist the program by moving small engine donations to where they are needed throughout their life cycle with us.

We also have a need for adult volunteers to be a Mechanic's Assistant. This position requires basic knowledge of how to repair small engines. You would be helping the youth directly, working on the donated machines.


If you have questions about Tried and True Small Engines or would like more information, please contact Jenna Jones with LC4YF at 651-464-3685 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Thank you to our Partners!


Tried and True in the Media

Putting Things Back Together: A Youth Social Entrepreneurship Case Study

Upcoming Programs

offered by Lakes Center for Youth & Families

No upcoming event!