2018-07-04 / Front Page

Students help develop new sheriffs’ youth ranch

Duo’s GoFundMe campaign, website design and social media will raisefunds to build camp for future deputies, at-risk kids

Launching a GoFundMe campaign. Designing a new website. Managing Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts. Students from Ball State University and Indiana State University are this summer busily using their communications skills to help raise funds to develop the new Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch for future law enforcement officers, at-risk kids, young witnesses, victims and survivors of crime – including sons and daughters of fallen public safety officials.

“Our new not-for-profit’s mission is perhaps the boldest of its kind ever undertaken in Indiana history,” says Marion County Sheriff John Layton, who volunteers as board president. “To conserve resources and provide the energy and talent our project requires, we have turned to in-state universities’ best and brightest undergraduates.”

Cat Anagnos, 21, is a senior public communication studies major at Ball State University. On campus, she served as the chief of staff for the BSU Student Government Association as well as the vice president of communications for BSU’s Alpha Omicron Pi sorority chapter. Anagnos graduated from Elkhart Central High School in 2015. Her parents are Dean and Natalie Anagnos from Elkhart.

Carl (C.J.) Johantges, 22, is a senior at Indiana State University, studying communications with a focus in public relations. Johantges is a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and serves as the ISU chapter’s historian and head of alumni affairs. On campus, he is active in theater and intramural sports. Johantges graduated from Bishop Chatard High School in 2014. His parents are Carl and Eileen Johantges of Indianapolis.

For 38 years, sheriffs and deputies have hosted leadership camps for future deputies and at-risk kids. The Youth Ranch, now under development in West Central Indiana, will serve as the permanent home for the camps, which welcome teens from all communities in all counties. Owning rather than renting venues will allow sheriffs to expand the camps to more days per week and more weeks per year. In addition, sheriffs want to offer weekend retreats for young witnesses, victims and survivors of crime in the spring and fall each year. At capacity, the Youth Ranch will more than quadruple the number of campers who sheriffs and deputies can mentor and bond with each year.

For more information, to donate or volunteer, call the Youth Ranch toll free at 833-IN-RANCH or log onto www.SheriffsYouthRanch.org.

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