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On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the Cheyenne River Youth Project will be hosting an “Exploring College Options” night at its Eagle Butte campus. Scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. at CRYP’s Čhokáta Wičhóni teen center, the event will give youth and families on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation an opportunity to learn more about attending select universities across the country.
 
Admissions officers from Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University will be on site to discuss the application and financial aid processes. They also will present information about the resources available to Native students, and they will share stories from Native students. 
 
“Exploring College Options” night is free and open to the public, but attendees must register online in advance by scanning a QR code. Flyers with the QR code are available at the CRYP office, Lakota Thrifty Mart, Eagle Stop, Ampride Co-op, the U.S. Post Office in Eagle Butte, and Cheyenne-Eagle Butte High School. 
 
The flyer also is posted on the CRYP Facebook page at facebook.com/LakotaYouth. Interested participants should call the CRYP office at (605) 964-8200 if they have any questions or need assistance with registration. 
 
According to Jerica Widow, CRYP’s programs director, “Exploring College Options” night is a natural evolution of the nonprofit youth project’s long-running College Night series. CRYP created College Night in 2007 so help local teens become better prepared for their educational experiences after high school.

“Through the College Night program, we invited our visiting ‘Alternative Spring Break’ volunteer groups to make presentations about their universities and colleges to our community,” Widow explained. “The presentations covered a variety of topics, including the application process, available degree programs, financial aid, social activities, and general campus life.” 
 
The Covid pandemic put the student-run College Night series on hiatus, so Widow said the entire CRYP team is looking forward to welcoming the admissions officers from so many universities for a single night of knowledge-sharing, storytelling, question-and-answer sessions, and connection. 
 
“This is a wonderful way for us to engage our young people, and hopefully inspire them as well,” she observed. “There are so many options available to them after high school, and on Oct. 3, they will be able to learn about several of those options and ask questions about the issues that matter most to them.
 
“We encourage them to bring family members,” she continued, “so parents and guardians can learn more about how to best support their children as they navigate the application process and the prospect of leaving home to attend school out of state.” 
 
Again, interested attendees must register online in advance for “Exploring College Options” night at CRYP. Visit one of the aforementioned locations to scan the QR code on the flyer, or visit facebook.com/LakotaYouth to access a digital copy of the flyer.

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