I am eternally grateful to have had a supportive community of donors during my tenure at the helm of Apple Ridge Farm. Thousands of individuals, businesses, churches, foundations and organizations have given my vision “wings to fly.”

As I pass the baton to my son, John, I trust that this same supportive community, along with new friends and partners, will continue to enable Apple Ridge Farm to realize its mission of “Helping Kids Grow” now and in the future!

Peter Allen Lewis, Founder

2016 marks a year of transition for Apple Ridge Farm as it celebrates the retirement of its founder and director, Peter Lewis, and welcomes me as his successor.

Fourteen years ago I left my hometown to pursue higher education and career success in Richmond, Virginia. Although it was my intention to follow my own way, completely divergent from my dad’s, life has a way of laughing at our plans. Through happenstance and what I refer to as providence, my professional trajectory nearly mirrored my father’s: I worked in the public school system, developed programs that addressed risk in low-income communities, and started a nonprofit that worked to help underachieving youth realize and follow their own path for success.

People who know “Uncle” Peter Lewis and everything he has built at Apple Ridge Farm tell me, “You sure got some big shoes to fill.” I take that declaration, not as an expectation for failure or success, but rather as a challenge to walk on the path he has set before me. I have experienced many transitions in my life and each one has helped me grow, preparing me for success!

Apple Ridge Farm’s mission of Helping Kids Grow comes with a responsibility to acknowledge that the foundation of success we lay for our youth to grow from is the same one that has nurtured us every day of our lives. The legacy of Peter Lewis and Apple Ridge Farm is one of education, achievement, and mentorship. I plan to continue to build upon that foundation in order to leave behind a path of success for our kids to follow.

John R. F. Lewis
Executive Director