CRST Youth Project Graduates 184 Teen Interns

Oct 24, 2016

Sustainable Agriculture interns tending CRYP’s 2-acre, naturally grown Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) garden.
Credit Courtesy Cheyenne River Youth Project
The Cheyenne River Youth Project has announced the graduation of 184 tribal members from its “Center of Life” teen internship program. Internships focus on sustainable agriculture, social enterprise, wellness and art along with instilling a sense of economic responsibility.

Over the past 3 years the Cheyenne River Youth Project has provided instruction, mentorship, workshops, certifications, real-life job experience and wages to teenaged tribal members.

Wellness Interns learning about nutrition and preparing healthy meals in the Keya (Turtle) Cafe’s commercial-grade kitchen.
Credit Courtesy Cheyenne River Youth Project

Julie Garreau is the project’s executive director. She says the real goal is for young people to gain valuable skills that will serve them well all their lives as well as having a lasting impact on the Cheyenne River reservation’s economy.

“They receive upon completion of their internship curriculum a stipend which comes to about $500,” Garreau explains. “ Some of the kids have gone on to buy lawn mowers or musical equipment or done other things that maybe help them grow. Some of them will help the families. Some of them will buy their school clothes. Some of them will spend it on whatever they want to spend it on…but it’s their money…so that’s fine. What I love are the kids who are…you know…they’re taking it so that they’re kind of using the money and it takes them a little bit further. I like that.”

Cheyenne River Youth Project executive director Julie Garreau.
Credit Courtesy Cheyenne River Youth Project

For example, notes Garreau, the teen who used his stipend to buy a lawn mower and started providing local lawn-care services.

Three-hundred fifty-two Cheyenne River Sioux teens have graduated the internship program since its inception in 2014.

Julie Garreau says she feels good about being able to provide the teens with money for the work they’ve done in the program as well as being able to teach them about being responsible in how the spend it.

Related links: 

Cheyenne River Youth Project