Although we at the Cheyenne River Youth Project are immensely proud of our teen internship program and our burgeoning arts initiatives, we’ll never forget our roots. CRYP got its start nearly 30 years ago in a little youth center for 4- to 12-year-olds, and to this day, we are well aware that our impact on the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation’s youth begins here—and that “the little Main” makes a real and lasting difference in our kids’ lives.
Marquis Aungie Jr., 12, started coming to The Main about four years ago. He says his friends told him about the drop-in youth center, which offers nutritious meals and snacks, wellness activities, arts and crafts, a variety of clubs, and simply a safe place to play, study and spend time with friends.
“It sounded cool,” says the sixth-grader, who is in his last year at Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Upper Elementary School.
Marquis recently learned how to grow his own food through The Main’s Garden Club, and how to make healthy smoothies. Now, however, he’s looking forward. The next year will bring middle school and, as soon as he turns 13, admittance to Cokata Wiconi.
He says he can’t wait. The big draw? Cokata Wiconi’s full-size Morgan Yellowhead Gymnasium.
“I love basketball,” he says. “I want to be an NBA player one day, and I want to go to Chicago.”
Marquis, we have loved having you at The Main for so many years, and we can’t wait to welcome you to Cokata Wiconi. A whole new adventure is waiting for you.