In a small town, it’s fun for everyone when someone new arrives—for us as a staff, and for all the kids. This spring, we all welcomed 7-year-old Christina Collins Siquieros to The Main, and already she is thriving.
Christina actually lived on the Cheyenne River reservation when she was small, but her family has been in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a number of years. She says she remembers The Main; her mother, Valerie, was a CRYP employee at that time and recently rejoined our staff as youth programs coordinator.
“I was too little to play at The Main back then,” Christina recalls. “I sat on my mom’s desk and looked at everyone. My new friends at school told me that they go to The Main too and that it’s a lot of fun. It is! I get to play with them every day after school here.”
Christina is particularly enjoying Garden Club, and she has encouraged her friends to join her. This month, they had the opportunity to create their own garden journals so they can keep track of their starter plants’ growing process. They also painted pots for their Inas. In the weeks and months to come, they’ll spend many happy hours in the Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) Garden, nurturing the plants and eventually helping to harvest the nutritious, pesticide-free produce.
In addition to learning about the garden, Christina says she also is learning how to take care of her friends, because the CRYP staff and volunteers work so hard to keep them safe.
“Now we all know how to keep each other safe through life, and how to help each other be happy,” she explains. “I also know how to pot a plant now.”
When she’s not at The Main, Christina is enjoying Mrs. Cleveland’s second-grade class at Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Elementary. She especially loves music and art.
“I love drawing, because I can draw what is on my mind and can make it all the colors that I love,” she says. “Especially purple and blue. I also love to make pink cherry lemonade and spaghetti with my mommy. I love cooking, because it’s like coloring with food.”
This enterprising young lady already has her sights set on the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center, where she’s keen to join Midnight Basketball.
“And, I want to learn how to cook in the Keya Cafe with the internship, and to spray paint with the big kids in the art camps,” she says. “My mommy says I will go there when I’m 13, but that’s like a hundred years away.”
Christina bubbles over with her plans for the rest of her life. She wants to travel to California so she can meet her father’s family, play in the ocean and visit Legoland (and maybe Disneyland, but only if there is time). Universal Studios is also on her list.
“I will take mommy to the Harry Potter world, then we will see the monkey train,” she says. “Or we will just go on the Dinosaur Train.”
Christina says she’d like to be a police officer one day, to help keep people safe the way her late father, Joseph Siquieros, kept her and her mother safe. She’s also going to own Starbucks and be the president of the world.
“But maybe I’ll be a cop president and just drink at Starbucks,” she muses. “I also want to work where people are nice to everybody else and have fun and laugh, like my mommy does.”
That’s quite an endorsement, Christina. We can’t wait to see what life has in store for you.