Poverty has a profound effect on family structure and self-esteem, which contributes to a variety of social ills. Located in one of the nation’s 5 poorest counties, the Cheyenne River Youth Project serves the Cheyenne River Reservation community in Eagle Butte, South Dakota by offering youth programs and family services that foster healthy choices and life practices, as well as provide immediate relief and create opportunities for the future.
The CRYP, established in 1988, has become an essential youth and family services organization, integral to the Cheyenne River Reservation’s support system. The organization has become vital not only because it provides innovative youth programming and family services, but also because it is a grassroots initiative tailored to meet the needs of the community. With over 369 family memberships reservation-wide, CRYP represents local problem solving for critical community concerns.
CRYP is a well-rounded service organization comprised of several major components:the Main Youth Center, the Family Services Program, the 2 1/2 acre Winyan Toka Win (“Leading Lady”) Garden, Social Enterprise initiatives, such as the Gift Shop & Keya Cafe and Coffee Shop, the Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park, and the Ċokata Wiċoni (“Center of Life”) Teen Center. These components create a collaborative synergy and represent the holistic approach of the Cheyenne River Youth Project® toward assessing and meeting community needs. It has been recognized for its achievements locally, regionally and nationally.
The Cheyenne River Youth Project® appreciates the chance that it has been given to serve youth on Cheyenne River, providing the coping skills that will help them reach beyond the poverty, beyond the dysfunction, beyond the pervading sense of hopelessness that exists.
To learn more visit lakotayouth.org