ALL ABOUT THE BOYS RANCH

Transforming Lives for More Than 40 Years

Our History & Mission

the boys Ranch: yesterday, today, and tomorrow

The Lighthouse Ranch was founded in March of 1979 by Jim and Lovella Yohe. It is located on a beautiful 40-acre site in Southeast Louisiana. More than 1,000 boys have lived at the Ranch and benefited from its program since its founding.

Lighthouse Ranch for Boys is a Louisiana licensed, Type IV child residential facility located in Loranger, LA. The program is designed for boys 12 to 17 years of age who are in need of a stable environment. Many of the boys who come to the Ranch were victims of abuse, neglect, addiction, and unstable home environments, which led them to develop maladaptive behaviors. Our support team provides a safe, stable, and nurturing environment that is both educational and therapeutic in nature so that Ranch boys feel secure and able to focus on making choices that improve their lives.

The Ranch operates an onsite school, Lighthouse Christian Academy, under the direct supervision of a Master Certified teacher. Lighthouse Christian Academy is fully accredited and is recognized by the Tangipahoa Parish School Board as an Alternative Educational Program. Most boys are struggling with academics upon admission to the Ranch, as demonstrated by wide learning gaps, a history of poor school attendance, and/or failing grades--all of which place them at high risk of dropping out and repeating the cycle of poverty. By utilizing a one-on-one approach in a relaxed but structured environment, boys are able to overcome educational deficits and succeed academically.

In addition to traditional classroom learning activities, Ranch boys are able to participate in horsemanship and agriculture electives. Learning how to care for animals, ride horses, grow a garden, prepare meals, and complete chores not only facilitates the development of marketable skills for the future, but fosters a spirit of independence and personal growth. Our number-one goal is to give our boys a solid foundation for building a better future.

Meet The Team

boys ranch staff members

It takes a village to meet the needs of our boys, but our team of professionals is dedicated to providing the physical, emotional, and academic support that will help them grow into healthy, successful young men.

Danny Smith

Danny Smith

MCE, CEO
Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith

President and Director
Kayla Sanders

Kayla Sanders

RSW, Vice President and Assistant Director
Dana Smith

Dana Smith

Registered Nurse
Brandyn Baham

Brandyn Baham

LMSW, School Principal
Javunte Andrews

Javunte Andrews

Assistant Principal and Supervisor
Matthew Vanamburg

Matthew Vanamburg

Supervisor, Teacher and Physical Education
Dianne Wood

Dianne Wood

Food Service Coordinator
Jeremiah Gerhardt

Jeremiah Gerhardt

RSW and Supervisor
Jennifer Matthews

Jennifer Matthews

Donor Relations
Aaron Sanders

Aaron Sanders

Lead Supervisor and Agriculture
Thomas Hockert

Thomas Hockert

Supervisor, Agriculture and Physical Education
Connor Ferrill

Connor Ferrill

Director of Communications

Accreditation

Held to the highest standard

Lighthouse House Ranch for Boys has achieved COA accreditation, which is an objective, independent, and reliable validation of an agency’s performance. The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization’s administration, management, and service delivery functions against international standards of best practice. The standards driving accreditation ensure that services are well-coordinated, culturally competent, evidence-based, outcomes-oriented, and provided by a skilled and supported workforce. COA accreditation demonstrates accountability in the management of resources, sets standardized best practice thresholds for service and administration, and increases organizational capacity and accountability by creating a framework for ongoing quality improvement.

To achieve COA accreditation, Lighthouse Ranch for Boys first provided written evidence of compliance with the COA standards.  Thereafter, a group of specially trained volunteer Peer Reviewers confirmed adherence to these standards during a series of on-site interviews with trustees, staff and clients.

Support the Boys Ranch

Be A Lifeline For Them

The Boys Ranch has relied on the support of generous community donors to continue its mission for more than 40 years. Every gift, no matter how large or small, has helped to give hundreds of troubled young men a fresh start. Please help us continue to provide the same loving guidance to all the boys who are with us now, and all the ones who are still waiting for their chance at a brighter future.