More than a decade ago, a Cheyenne River teen named Anthony Potter was a regular around CRYP’s “The Main” youth center, offering volunteer service wherever and whenever it was needed. Fast forward to 2017, and quite a bit has changed: For starters, the youth project has expanded beyond The Main and is now a 5-acre campus with multiple facilities for kids ages 4 to 18.
And Anthony’s 9-year-old daughter, Alyson, is an enthusiastic and hard-working CRYP volunteer.
She used to live with her dad in Bismarck, North Dakota, but when Anthony finished college, the duo moved home to Eagle Butte, where Alyson is in fourth grade at Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Elementary School. She says she “got confident” on her 9th birthday, and now she’s a regular at CRYP.
“I’m here in case anyone needs help,” she says. “I know where the volunteer applications and the (Family Services) order cards are, and I can page people.”
With a big grin, she adds, “I have my own timesheet and my own chair!”
Alyson says she really enjoys filling Family Services orders in the warehouse with her dad. Through CRYP’s Family Services program, members can participate in all distributions — including school supplies, shoes, winter clothing, and the annual Christmas Toy Drive — and obtain much-needed household supplies, baby items, and emergency heat-match assistance.
“I also like decorating,” she says. “And lifting things.”
In fact, Alyson does plenty of arts and crafts on her own time, as well. She says she likes to make things for her American Girl dolls, and she makes things for her room so it “looks more decorative.” Pink is a definite favorite color.
Penmanship and reading are her two favorite subjects at school. Right now, she loves reading chapter books like Disney’s “The Descendants.”
When asked what she wants to do when she grows up, Alyson beams.
“I want to be an artist, and a teacher,” she says. “And I want to work here.”