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ISP Trooper hoping to help foster child reach his career goal

Published: May. 15, 2022 at 7:59 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - A 15-year-old foster child from southern Indiana is hoping to one day achieve one of his career goals. He’s looking to become a police officer someday.

The Indiana adoption organization called Grant Me Hope create videos to help get children like Peyton adopted.

Peyton talks about how he wants to work in law enforcement one day to help keep people safe.

“When I attend college, I want to study law enforcement and my dream is to always be a law enforcement officer because I just want to help people… if there is someone in need I want to help them anyway I can.”

When Master Trooper for Indiana State Police Marc Leatherman when he saw Peyton’s story and reached out to us hoping to help him achieve his career goal.

“It’s just like Peyton said, being able to help people and to give back to the community, that’s why I got involved with our camp program. That allows me to reach out to kids all over the state that have an interest in a career in law enforcement. It’s a new profound respect that they gain from all this,” Leatherman said.

Leatherman works with the Indiana State Police Youth Career Camp at Trine University but there are camps like it across the state. He says his camp mainly focuses on high school kids and brings a hands-on learning experience of what it’s like being a police officer.

After Peyton’s story aired Sunday, an anonymous donor reached out to him and said they would like to pay for Peyton’s experience at the summer camp.

“We’ve got a lot of kids that have had a positive experience from this because not only do they get the law enforcement side of it, but a lot of self discipline, self respect, a lot of their mental state is improved, they’re all standing a little taller and prouder,” Leatherman said.

He says it’s important for kids to begin learning about their careers at a young age like Peyton. He says over time he still keeps in contact with kids who participated in the program. Leatherman says he hopes Peyton will be one of those kids.

“I’ve been doing it long enough now that I’ve actually seen numerous prior campers in law enforcement. In fact, two of my staff this year, one of them, she’s a state trooper on the low post and the other is a confinement officer for a local sheriff’s department, but both former campers,” Leatherman said.

To learn more about Grant Me Hope, click here.

To learn more about the summer camp program, click here.

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