The Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced that it is seeking to fill a critical volunteer position at its Eagle Butte campus through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. The VISTA volunteer will enhance operations at the 25-year-old, not-for-profit youth project by providing valuable program support and assistance in daily operations.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with VISTA,” said Kellie Jewett, CRYP’s development director. “And we’re excited to fill this volunteer position, since it’s going to be an important part of our resource development, volunteer program and Family Services program. Our organization is a vital part of the Cheyenne River community, serving 1,200 youth and 400 families annually, and our new VISTA volunteer will play a key role in expanding our capacity to raise funds, attract volunteers and serve larger numbers of community members.”
The brainchild of President John F. Kennedy, Volunteers in Service to America was founded in 1965 as a national service program designed specifically to fight poverty, and it became part of the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993. VISTA alumni went on to create such well-known antipoverty programs as Head Start and Upward Bound, and VISTA volunteers remain dedicated to helping the approximately 46 million Americans who live in poverty.
“This position with our youth project is the perfect opportunity for a VISTA volunteer to make a real, meaningful contribution,” Jewett said. “We have a great need in on the Cheyenne River reservation, where the unemployment rate hovers around 75 percent, and our two counties are among the poorest in the United States. Volunteering here means you can use your knowledge, skills and commitment to make a real difference in the lives of our youth and their families.”
The VISTA volunteer at CRYP will be responsible for coordinating the youth project’s long-running Family Services program and its volunteer program. He or she also will work on a variety of tasks dedicated to resource and organizational development and will work closely with Tammy Eagle Hunter, youth programs director, to review and develop youth programming processes. This includes assessments for existing programs and developing new programs to best meet the needs of youth participants at The Main youth center and Cokata Wiconi teen center.
“These activities are all critical to our ongoing success as a not-for-profit organization serving at-risk youth and low-income families,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “We must increase our capacity to raise funds, which involves cultivating donors and researching grants and other funding sources, so we can better serve our community. We must expand our pool of reliable volunteers, as we wouldn’t be able to continue daily operations without volunteer support. And we must enhance all of our administrative systems and program development to better serve our youth and our families.
“The VISTA volunteer who comes to live and work at CRYP is going to play a major role,” she continued. “This is going to be a dynamic and challenging position, but for the right person, it’s going to prove to be exciting, educational and rewarding beyond measure.”
For more information, and to apply online through “My AmeriCorps,” simply visit https://lakotayouth.org/about/employment/, scroll down to the AmeriCorps VISTA job listing and click the provided link.
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 www.lakotayouth.org. And, to stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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.