Although the Cheyenne River Youth Project began its life as a drop-in youth center for 4- to 12-year-olds, we’ve learned over the years that our teens are just as eager as the littles to get involved. They just need to be engaged in different ways.
Jordyn Brown Bull moved to Eagle Butte from Rapid City in 2021. A friend introduced her to CRYP, which she says seemed very inviting, and she immediately joined the teen internship program.
“I’ve done internships in Indigenous Foods & Cooking, Native Food Sovereignty, Native Wellness, and Art,” says Jordyn, 15. “I had many responsibilities. I also had regular exercise, learned about traditional Lakota culture, and got involved in helping my community.”
Community work included providing vital support during the 7th annual RedCan invitational graffiti jam last summer and the Wo Otúh’an Wi (Moon of Giving Away Presents) Toy Drive in December.
“My favorite activity was helping to fill stockings for the kids,” she remembers. “CRYP has given me so many good opportunities, like socializing, public speaking, and taking part in the leadership program. I enjoyed meeting new people, although I found that teamwork could be challenging.”
Jordyn plans to enroll in the U.S. Army after high school. She hopes to continue to serve in her professional life, either in healthcare as a doctor or a nurse, or in the educational system as a teacher.
Until then, she enjoys creating art, writing poems, watching movies, and staying involved at the youth project. She says CRYP is special.
“They help the youth learn and build trust with others, and they teach us about Lakota culture,” she explains. “They help our community so much. I love the friendly environment and all the supportive people.”