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.”
Randi started coming to CRYP’s The Main youth center at age 7. Six years later, she transitioned next door to Cokata Wiconi, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
“CRYP is great,” she enthuses. “It keeps young people like me out of trouble, and away from drugs and alcohol.”
Randi wants to serve in the U.S. military after high school. Afterward, she plans to attend college and study to become a pediatrician. For now, however, she’s enjoying her studies at Cheyenne-Eagle Butte High School, where her favorite subjects include geometry and English literature; she also likes participating in sports and fitness activities.
“I think people would be extremely surprised to know how many opportunities really are here on Cheyenne River,” Randi says. “I love all the new opportunities I get, every day.”