During Sheriff Leeper’s time as chair, the youth ranches expanded their operations to include girls at the traditional “Boys Ranch” north of Live Oak in Suwannee County in order to provide services to all children who are from broken homes and neglected to provide security, guidance and assistance so they are able to face the future with a sense of direction, ability and hope. They opened a scholarship house at the FSYR Villa in Polk County to serve former residents who are pursuing their college degree and they expanded their six resale thrift stores around the state to raise additional funds for the ranches organization.
FSYR serves kids from all 67 counties in Florida and has programs in Live Oak, Bartow, Safety Harbor, Parrish, Pierson and Inglis and served nearly 7,700 kids last year.
The Florida Sheriff’s Boys Ranch was started by sheriffs in 1957 and has been serving the youth of our state ever since as a non-profit organization providing children with a nurturing family structure through cottage homes, including a full-time house mom and dad, who work with each child to develop a strong work ethic, respect and a sense of responsibility. In addition to family-style living, they use a clearly defined model of care, making sure the children in their programs are given the same opportunities to attend school and participate in extracurricular activities as their peers. Ninety percent of the youth graduate from high school.
By utilizing a network of residential campuses throughout Florida, the Youth Ranches trained and devoted staff are well-equipped to nurture needy, neglected boys and girls and provide a warm sense of security, guidance and tenderness through their mission to prevent delinquency and develop lawful, resilient and productive citizens.
Please visit their website at www.youthranches.org for more information.
Picture left to right: FSYR President Bill Frye, Sheriff Leeper, incoming FSYR Board Chair Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell