At the Cheyenne River Youth Project, we are dedicated to giving our youth access to the opportunities they so richly deserve in spaces that are carefully curated to be inspiring, safe, and sacred. We also are committed to making those spaces inclusive — all children who live on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation are welcome here, even if they didn’t grow up here.

Carmani Badhorse is one of those young people. He arrived on Cheyenne River as a teen, and he quickly found CRYP; like hundreds of other teens before him, he was drawn to the internship program.

“I liked the idea of working with other people,” says Carmani, 16. “I’ve done the art internship and the Native Food Sovereignty internship. I enjoy learning different things.”

Carmani says the art internship trainings, in particular, have been good opportunities for him. CRYP’s art internships give young people opportunities to explore graffiti and street art, fine art, and traditional Lakota arts. They also are introduced to arts education, develop professional skills, and explore career opportunities in the arts.

The nonprofit youth organization also provides valuable mentoring opportunities through its many guest instructors. Carmani is pictured here with earrings he made in a workshop with Sicangu Lakota artist Mike Marshall. 

“I think this internship gives young adults a chance to prepare themselves for a real job,” Carmani says.

When Carmani isn’t busy at CRYP’s Čhokáta Wičhóni (Center of Life) teen center, he enjoys playing basketball, making music, and working on cars. He also is planning to save money for his future.

“I want to go to college in San Francisco, and make a career as an animator and a musical artist,” he says. 

Until then, he’s happy to be part of the Cheyenne River community. 

“I love the diversity in the community,” he explains, “and the range of stuff they have here that I’m not used to.” 

We’re glad you’re here, Carmani!