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Cheyenne River Youth Project launches fundraiser

Members of the Cheyenne River Youth Project.

Members of the Cheyenne River Youth Project.

EAGLE BUTTE — After a busy holiday season, the Cheyenne River Youth Project is charging into 2018 with even more innovative opportunities for young people growing up on South Dakota’s remote Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. To commemorate the start of the New Year and invest in one of the nonprofit organization’s most significant programs, CRYP has announced the launch of its “New Year, New Teen Interns” fundraiser.

The fundraiser will run through Saturday, Mar. 31. Every dollar up to $10,000 will be matched through the generosity of a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

All proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit CRYP’s ground-breaking teen internship program, which offers tracks in sustainable agriculture, social enterprise, wellness and the arts. As they complete their internships, teens learn job and life skills that will serve them well all their lives while also gaining significant hands-on experience — not only as employees, but also as creators, mentors, and youth leaders.

“In 2013, the first year of the teen internship program, we graduated 10 interns,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Four years later, our teens have completed nearly 500 internships, and interest continues to grow.”

With additional funding in 2018, CRYP staff will be able to enhance the curriculum within each the four internship tracks. They also will have the means to expand the program, giving even more young people much-needed opportunities to explore their interests, pursue their passions, cultivate new skills, and strengthen their connections to their Lakota culture.

“Teens who are given opportunities like this, and who receive guidance and mentorship as they navigate those opportunities, are more likely to stay in school, pursue advanced education and work toward specific career goals,” Garreau said. “They also are more likely to make positive choices that foster good health and holistic wellbeing, and become their community’s next generation of leaders, culture bearers and role models.

“Every dollar makes a difference in this fundraiser,” she continued. “Our partners are playing a vital supporting role as we move forward with CRYP’s teen internship program.”

Learn more about CRYP and its internships, as well as their real-life impact, through the documentary film “Lakota in America,” commissioned by Square and produced by Even/ Odd Films. The documentary is available on CRYP’s home page at

Contributions also can be made via PayPal on the home page, or through an easy-to-use Square form at help/monetary.

To learn more about the Cheyenne River Youth Project and its programs, and for information about making donations and volunteering, call (605) 964-8200 or visit And, to stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook (/LakotaYouth), Twitter (@ LakotaYouth) and Instagram (@ waniyetuwowapi).

The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.

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