Why We Need Youth Centers at Pine Ridge
Listen to the Children
“Being hungry is giving your food to your brothers and deciding which one to give it to because we are all hungry.”
Recently I sat with 6 young people from Pine Ridge Reservation and listened. A young girl described what it was like to be hungry and have no food. In a discussion about what should be in a youth center, the young people asked for a counselor they could talk to, not someone with degrees but just people who would be there for them.
About the Allen Youth Center
The Lakota youth of Pine Ridge Reservation are the foundation of their people’s future.
The youth center in Allen stands as a promise and symbol of hope. It is a recognition that the youth are the future of the Lakota nation and that they will have the help they need to carry forward the traditions and responsibilities of their people.
Along with a safe place to hang out, the center offers study areas, recreation, and counseling in a welcoming environment that provides realistic alternatives to drugs, alcohol and gangs. The center will provide food, a place to stay overnight when needed, computer, music, mentors, tutors, cultural immersion, and lots of care and support.