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teen internships

May Hall of Fame: Sunni Dupris

At the Cheyenne River Youth Project, we’ve worked hard over the years to develop a programming mix that allows us to reach as many young people as we can, and then develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with particular individuals over time. For example, we created Midnight Basketball in 1996 so area teens would have a safe place to play ball and hang out with friends on Friday nights—some weekends, we’ll see more than 100 kids come through our doors.

We might not have the chance to get to know each of those 100-plus children personally through the basketball program. Sometimes, however, a passion for basketball turns into a passion for CRYP, and we have an opportunity to make a lasting difference in that child’s life.

That’s what happened with a young woman named Sunni Dupris, who first came to our Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center to play basketball. That turned into so much more.

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Teen Art Interns Complete Architecture & Design Course

On April 27-29, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® welcomed Boulder, Colorado-based Pyatt Studio to its Eagle Butte campus for a three-day, intensive “Introduction to Architecture & Design” workshop. Rob Pyatt, principal and design director, and fellow designer Walt Pourier spent three days with 13 teen art interns who currently are pursuing their arts education through CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Lakota Arts Institute.

The intensive workshop familiarized the interns with architectural and design thinking, and it provided critical instruction in a variety of representational tools and media, including freehand drawing and basic model-making techniques. All interns received an official Certificate of Completion from Pyatt Studio and CRYP.

During their three days with Pyatt and Pourier, the interns developed local, relevant and personally meaningful design projects, and they explored aspects of architecture and design that aligned with their individual interests. They also learned about design research, communicating design ideas through drawing, testing designs through physical models, working collaboratively and sharing their design ideas with others.

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    CRYP Encourages Lifelong Wellness Practices Through Teen Internships

CRYP Encourages Lifelong Wellness Practices Through Teen Internships

For nearly 30 years, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has been dedicated to building and nurturing healthy children through its innovative, resourceful youth programs. The launch of CRYP’S teen internship program at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center nearly three years ago took this vision to the next level.

Not only does CRYP offer teen wellness internships, it has designed wellness-oriented activities for all four cohorts, allowing the teen interns in the arts, social enterprise and sustainable agriculture to participate as well.

In the last four weeks, for example, CRYP has hosted Native Wellness training and physical assessments, comprehensive empowerment and team-building exercises, and cooking classes.

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March Hall of Fame: Genevieve Iron Lightning

When the Cheyenne River Youth Project designed its innovative teen internship program, it created four distinct internship areas to appeal to a diverse range of interests. Yet staff members are discovering that many teens choose to participate in all of them. Once the kids start learning, it seems, they don’t want to stop.

Genevieve Iron Lightning, 16, is one of those kids. She has participated in all four internships—sustainable agriculture, social enterprise, art, and wellness—and she says she appreciates the many different skills she has acquired through those opportunities.

“In the Keya Cafe, I liked making drinks and stocking the pastries and desserts,” she recalls. “The social enterprise internship taught me a lot of customer service skills, like how to address people and deal with issues.

“I also liked learning about public speaking,” she says of her internship experiences at CRYP. “I’m very vocal already, so it’s helpful to learn how to really draw people into what you’re saying.”

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    Attention, Teens: Come to Midnight Basketball and Learn More About CRYP’s Internship Program!

Attention, Teens: Come to Midnight Basketball and Learn More About CRYP’s Internship Program!

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® is inviting local youth to attend Midnight Basketball at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center on Friday, Feb. 24 and Thursday, Mar. 2. Not only will 13- to 18-year-olds have the always-welcome opportunity to play their favorite sport and hang out with friends, they’ll be able to learn more about the nonprofit youth organization’s innovative teen internship program.

On these two evenings, Midnight Basketball will incorporate a recruitment station where teens can get more information about upcoming internships in wellness, sustainable agriculture, social enterprise and the arts.

“We’re looking forward to meeting with kids who might not be fully aware of what we offer here,” said Tammy Granados, CRYP’s youth programs director. “Through the internship program, teens can earn their own money, earn valuable certifications, and gain real-life job experience.”

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February Hall of Fame: Claudia Iron Hawk

The beating heart of the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center is its internship program. Created three years ago to provide Cheyenne River’s teens with opportunities to learn valuable job and life skills, the program now includes robust, innovative internships in sustainable agriculture, social enterprises, wellness and the arts.

Some teens gravitate to internships in just one area. Others, like Claudia Iron Hawk, are so inspired by what they’ve learned, they seek new opportunities at every turn. Claudia, 16, has already completed three sustainable agriculture internships, an arts internship focused on graffiti and street art, and a social enterprises internship, which involves operations in the youth project’s Keya (Turtle) Cafe and Keya Gift Shop.

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    Keya Cafe to Temporarily Close Jan. 27, Reopen Seasonally in May with Exciting Updates

Keya Cafe to Temporarily Close Jan. 27, Reopen Seasonally in May with Exciting Updates

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that it will temporarily close its Keya (Turtle) Cafe at the end of this month, with the last day of regular service scheduled for Friday, Jan. 27. The nonprofit youth organization will devote the next few months to upgrading the cafe; it will host a grand reopening celebration in May, just in time for the busy summer season on the Cheyenne River Lakota reservation.

According to Molly Vetter, CRYP’s social enterprises manager, upgrades will include new equipment, an innovative menu, and a robust e-commerce option for those who wish to make online purchases from the Keya Cafe and Keya Gift Shop.

“We’re going to be adding two new freezers, as well as new equipment for food preservation and our coffeehouse operations,” Vetter explained. “We’re looking forward to presenting an entirely new menu with even more farm-to-table produce, and we’ll be offering traditional Lakota dishes on a regular basis.”

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November Hall of Fame: Brenton Veit

Fifteen-year-old Brenton Veit might have originally signed up for a teen internship at the Cheyenne River Youth Project to earn a little extra money, but he ended up taking home much more than his stipend.

Brenton has attended CRYP programs since he was in sixth grade, taking advantage of the opportunity to get out of the house and spend time with staff, volunteers and friends. Open gym has always been a huge draw, but that’s not what makes the youth project special, in his opinion.

“It’s the way they treat us,” he reflects. “I can just be myself when I’m there.”

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CRYP Graduates 184 Teen Interns

In the nearly three years since the Cheyenne River Youth Project® launched its innovative teen internship program at the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center, 184 teenagers have completed internships in sustainable agriculture, social enterprise, wellness and art. Not only have these young people gained valuable skills that will serve them well all their lives, they are having a lasting impact on the Cheyenne River reservation’s economy.

For CRYP, it’s all about the development of the Lakota workforce—and building healthy, resilient, well-rounded adults in the process. Since 2014, the nonprofit youth organization has invested $36,950 in Cheyenne River’s teenagers, providing instruction, mentorship, workshops, certifications, real-life job experience and wages. According to Julie Garreau, executive director, that’s making a difference on more than one level.

“When the kids earn their own money, they’re able to buy things they need,” Garreau explained. “Even more importantly, they’re thinking about how to earn more money, and about their own futures. One teen used his stipend to buy a lawn mower and started providing local lawn-care services. Others have purchased musical equipment. It’s really exciting to see that.”

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September Hall of Fame: Randi Little Star

In the years since we launched our Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center’s internship programs, we’ve learned two very important things. Cheyenne River’s teens crave opportunities to learn new job and life skills, and they welcome mentorships that inspire them and encourage them to imagine all the possibilities for the future.

Some of these teens desire and appreciate these experiences so much, they sign up for every internship we offer. Randi Little Star, 16, is one of them. This active 10th-grader has completed Sustainable Agriculture, Social Enterprise and Wellness internships, and she’s currently working her way through the Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Teen Arts Internship.

“I signed up for all the internships because I like helping people, and I really wanted to gain more experience in all these different areas,” Randi says. “I’d like to do even more, because I enjoy the tasks, and I love learning new things every day.”

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