It’s official: CRYP has promoted Jerica Widow from the position of youth programs coordinator to youth programs director. Widow joined the nonprofit youth organization since 2013, and she has made a significant contribution to the growth of its programming—particularly the innovative teen internships.

In her new role, Widow will be responsible for program development, implementation, assessments and reporting; oversight of youth programs staff at all facilities; grants management, research and proposals; youth and community outreach; special events coordination; local fundraising; and managing the youth project’s partnerships. She also will handle orientation, training and evaluations of new staff, and tackle the restructuring and relaunch of CRYP’s longtime volunteer program.

“We’re delighted that Jerica has accepted this position,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “In the last five years, she has built strong relationships—and an impressive degree of trust—with the youth programming staff, as well as with the young people we serve. They all understand that she is there to support and guide them, and they regularly see her go above and beyond the call of duty. Jerica is an exceptional asset for our organization.”

An enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Widow grew up in the small community of Red Scaffold, South Dakota. Prior to joining CRYP, she was a youth care worker at the Pierre Learning Center in the state capital and at Eagle Butte’s Sacred Heart Center. To support her career, she’s currently pursuing a degree in early childhood education through Oglala Lakota College.

As youth programs director, Widow said she’s dedicated to providing leadership to staff and volunteers, mentoring young people, and incorporating Lakota culture into all aspects of the youth project’s programming and services.

“I’m looking forward to supporting our staff members as they grow in their own positions, engaging more youth at our campus, and building additional partnerships that support our programs and mission here on Cheyenne River,” Widow explained. “I’m honored to take on this role with CRYP, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

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The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.