Julie Garreau is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and is the executive director of the Cheyenne River Youth Project. Julie has been CRYP’s director since the organization’s 1988 inception, volunteering in the position for 12 years. She began working for the organization full-time in 2000. She has seen the project through its exhilarating development from a tiny, one-room youth center in a former Main Street bar to a comprehensive youth and family services organization that includes the Billy Mills Youth Center — “The Main” — for children ages 4-12 and the Ċokata Wiċoni Teen Center, which serves youth ages 13-18. Julie is a dedicated youth advocate, and she hopes that CRYP will become a model for other communities to follow as they develop effective, sustainable youth programming.
A graduate of South Dakota’s Huron University, Julie was the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s education services specialist for 15 years, and during that time she served for five years on the CRST Police Commission – three of those years as chairperson. She also has served as a field coordinator for Running Strong for American Indian Youth®, a national not-for-profit organization that is an important CRYP partner.
In her nearly two decades with CRYP, Julie has received the South Dakota Volunteer of the Year Award (1992); the Presidential Points of Light Award (1992), presented by President George H.W. Bush; the North American Indian Women’s Association Fellowship “Among All Peoples” Award (1999); and the Garden Supply Company’s First Place “Garden Crusader” Award (2005). In 2002, the South Dakota Coalition for Children named CRYP a “Champion for Children,” and Julie was named to an honor roll that recognized its 16 members’ outstanding dedication to South Dakota’s children. Her name also appears on the Honor Wall at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.
Julie is a Bush Foundation Native Nations Rebuilders Fellow, and she recently completed Hopa Mountain’s Native American Nonprofit Leadership Program. She has been appointed to the SD Commission for National and Community Service by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard and is a member of the SD Attorney General’s Indian Advisory Council.
Tammy Eagle Hunter
Youth Programs Director
Tammy Eagle Hunter accepted the position of youth programs director for the Cheyenne River Youth Project® in May 2013. She is responsible for program development and implementation at CRYP’s Cokata Wiconi Teen Center and The Main Youth Center; youth and community outreach; grant writing and management; local fundraising; and managing CRYP organizational partnerships. She also handles orientation, training and evaluations of new staff and volunteers.
Born and raised on the Cheyenne River reservation and a tribal member, Tammy first joined CRYP as a youth programs assistant in 2007, a position she held for two years before taking a position with the Pierre Indian Learning Center in South Dakota’s capital city. A talented artist who remained dedicated to the Cheyenne River community, she returned in 2010 to run the youth project’s summer arts program. Then, in January 2011, Tammy joined the full-time CRYP staff as the wellness coordinator. In the two years since, she has planned and executed programs that include Midnight Basketball, Junior Midnight Basketball, sports camps, tournaments, dance classes, yoga, and walking and running clubs. She has earned a Cooper Fitness Specialist certification through The Cooper Institute, which is based in Texas, as well as a CPR certification. She has worked closely with other staff members and diabetes educators to help produce a powerful youth diabetes prevention campaign. And she oversaw the opening of the CRYP Fitness Center, which now provides circuit training and special exercise classes for Cokata Wiconi’s teen participants.
A graduate of Cheyenne-Eagle Butte High School, Tammy has completed coursework at Si Tanka Huron University, Presentation College and Oglala Lakota College in pursuit of her Bachelor of Arts degree in social work. She is dedicated to holistic wellness, focusing on young people’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being, and she says she has one major goal in life: to give the community’s children a better future.
Youth Programs Coordinator
A member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Jerica was born and raised on the reservation. Upon her 2007 graduation from Takini High School, she began taking courses in Early Childhood Education at Oglala Lakota College. She began working with the youth in 2009, through Department of Social Services and Child Protection Service centers within the community. Through the daily challenges in her role there, she enjoyed helping the youth the reservation. Jerica began working as a Youth Programs Assistant at the Cheyenne River Youth Project in 2014 and was recently promoted to Youth Programs Coordinator. Because she has many younger siblings and relatives, she feels that she has a good understanding of the needs and interest of youth. Jerica hopes to bring her passion and experience to her role at CRYP, serving as a positive role model for children and teens.
Ann Maher RD, LN joined the CRYP staff as its resident diabetes educator, dietitian and nutritionist in early 2013. A registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist, Ann was born and raised on a ranch 10 miles south of Isabel, South Dakota, on the Cheyenne River reservation. She graduated from Isabel High School and attended college at Dickinson State University in North Dakota for two years before transferring to South Dakota State University in Brookings to complete her degree (she was an active member of the rodeo team at both schools). After completing an internship at Detroit Medical Center in Michigan, Ann worked as a clinical, oncology and outpatient dietitian at St. Josephs Hospital in Dickinson, North Dakota. She then moved to the Black Hills and worked at Sturgis Regional Hospital and Senior Care for two years as a clinical and long-term-care dietitian.
In 2008, Ann decided it was time to come home; she joined Prairie Community Health in Isabel as an outpatient dietitian. Her specialties include diabetes, HTN, hyperlipidemia, obesity and general nutrition/healthy eating. In her spare time, Ann helps her father on their family ranch and is a volunteer EMT for Dewey County Ambulance.
Public Relations Manager
As CRYP’s public relations manager, Heather writes all of the organization’s press releases, produces its monthly e-newsletter, handles media relations, contributes to the website, and assists with fundraising, outreach and other development activities. She volunteered at the Main in the summer and fall of 2006 and became a staff member in 2007.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, Heather has nearly 20 years’ experience in communications. In the last two decades, she has worked as a staff editor for two national magazines and as a public-relations specialist for two nationally recognized advertising agencies, served as the public affairs manager for a not-for-profit contemporary arts center, and volunteered on the marketing committees for a maritime museum and humane society.
Heather has operated her own full-time freelance writing business since 2004. She continues to serve as a contributing editor for three national magazines, and her articles regularly appear in a variety of regional and national publications. An award-winning writer, she is the recipient of the Denver Woman’s Press Club’s annual “Minnie” grand prize. Heather makes frequent trips to Eagle Butte from her home in Bailey, Colorado.
In January 2012, Jonathan gave up the mild weather of his home state, North Carolina, for the bitter cold of South Dakota, where his fiancée Megan Guiliano was working at the Cheyenne River Youth Project. He soon started to help at the youth center, serving as a community volunteer and as the garden manager during summer 2012. In February 2013, he began working full time to assist CRYP with a strategic plan for technology.
Jonathan has helped CRYP implement a set of tools and procedures to track the organization’s tasks, data, and documentation. He has also developed CRYP’s new website and produced several short videos for CRYP’s YouTube channel.
Jonathan holds degrees in computer science and music composition from Middlebury College and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to CRYP, he worked at Shodor in Durham, NC, teaching kids how to write computer programs and create computer graphics. At CRYP he has worked with teens on video and technology projects. Jonathan and Megan now live in Raleigh, NC but continue to consult from afar, and plan to offer CRYP’s youth more opportunities to explore art and technology.
Special Projects Manager
Ben Cranham is the special projects manager for the Cheyenne River Youth Project. Ben has taken responsibility for coordinating the annual Christmas Toy Drive and various other projects. He returns to South Dakota whenever he is able. Ben first came to CRYP as a long-term volunteer in September 2007, During his six-month stay, he curated the Cokata Wiconi History Wall, a project based in CRYP’s teen center that he continues to develop. A keen runner, Ben completed the 2008 Edinburgh Marathon as a special fundraiser for the youth project. Ben lives and works in London, England, where he is the sales director for Tangible Benefit Ltd.
Special Projects Manager
Currently working as a CRYP special projects manager from her home in Virginia, Alexandra Meador was formerly the organization’s youth programs director. Her full-time tenure began in June 2007 and concluded in March 2010, when she made the decision to pursue her dream of attending law school. Alex graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing and a Spanish minor. She graduated at the top of her class, earning the highest GPA in the College of Arts and Letters. During her years at JMU, Alex worked as an editorial assistant with the Journal of Mine Action, served as a student assistant in the university editor office and published an article about CRYP in Madison Magazine. Alex worked as a full-time Main volunteer in 2006, and she returned in December 2006 to volunteer for the annual CRYP Christmas Toy Drive. Her other past experience working with youth includes a stint as a camp counselor at Victory YMCA in Yorktown.