Laura Schad, Director

Laura Schad has been a Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) team member since 2009 and works in the Northern Plains offices located in Rapid City. Serving as the Director of Long-Term Solutions (LTS), the team collaborates with tribal partners through capacity building and community investments to build strong communities. For 12 years, she served as PWNA’s Program Information Coordinator, working as a bridge between programs (direct services), the development team and PWNA’s program partners to create positive change.
Laura is a Cheyenne River Lakota tribal citizen and since returning to the Black Hills in 1990, she has focused her academic and career choices in tribal communities. As an adopted child growing up far from her own community and culture, Laura’s life work has been to connect with and serve tribal nations and their residents. She has maintained employment with Native owned businesses and Native led non-profits the entire thirty plus years since returning to South Dakota. Receiving her degree in Early Childhood from Oglala Lakota College, she worked as an Early Head Start Director, and transitioned into helping other program directors through the National Training and Technical Assistance network for the American Indian/Alaska Native Programs Branch of Head Start.
Laura has been a resident of Rapid City for over 30 years, raising three daughters with her husband Ralph. She has served as a board member of the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, Rapid City Area Schools Board of Education, Black Hills Area Community Foundation, and the Black Hills Community Loan Fund. She enjoys gardening (even though gardening doesn’t enjoy her), cooking, home improvement projects and traveling with family.

Explore About Section

Mission & History

In 1988, Julie Garreau and a group of volunteers founded CRYP in a defunct bar on Eagle Butte’s Main Street. We’ve come a long way since then. Learn more about our Mission and History.


CRYP wouldn’t be where it is today without our resourceful, hard-working staff members, who routinely go well beyond the call of duty to serve our children, families and community. Learn more about our Staff.

Board of Directors

We are fortunate to have the support of a dedicated group of local and regional community leaders, who consistently offer their guidance as CRYP continues to grow and evolve. Learn more about our Board of Directors. 

Advisory Board

As we pursue our ongoing mission in the Cheyenne River community, and engage with partners across the country, CRYP also calls on a team of valued professionals for advice and expertise. Learn more about CRYP’s Advisory Board.


A core component of our mission is to offer safe, positive, healthy spaces for our young people, families and community members to gather, exchange ideas, learn, socialize and thrive. Learn more about our Facilities.

Honors & Awards

Through the years, CRYP’s efforts have been recognized by a variety of regional and national organizations. Learn more about Our Honors and Awards.


We strive to keep our partners, supporters and friends up to date on all the latest happenings here at CRYP. Click here to see our Publications.


CRYP is dedicated to full transparency. Click here for our latest Financial statements and 990.