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On Friday July 13, at the Allen Youth Center, a structure he caused to be built, John DuBray was honored by his community for daring to dream of a place for the youth of Allen and then making that dream come true.

John DeBray
Honoring John DuBray Quilt for John Dubray

 The Center was opened in March 2015 and today has become a place where both kids and the community can relish in music, create art, relax with a movie, find emotional support, escape from violence, and always find food when they are hungry.

John DeBray in regalia

 

It is a refuge for all. It is because of John and his passion for the youth that the community is able to provide food and other projects for the kids, some of whom walk more than 6 miles to the center. 

 

Allen Youth Center

 

 

Girl at AYC
Kids outside AYC Kids outside AYC

 

For four weeks this summer, the center hosted an art project headed by renowned artist Randall Blaze and partially supported by the South Dakota Art Council. 

Randy Blaze and art exhibition

 

Randy has been effusive in his praise of the art talent he saw among both the kids and the adults in the community. To keep this art project serving the community, Randy will continue coming to the center once a week and will have some of the community adults help to mentor the youth in pottery and painting. 

 

Selection of pottery
Selection of pottery Selection of pottery

 

To fully support the project, we bought a kiln which has now been installed in the center and which Randy will teach community members to use to maximize the beauty of their work.

 

Girls at AYC
Lunch break Catch me if you can

In Allen, as in the other places on the Reservation, many kids ages preschool to teenage roam the community unsupervised until the wee hours of the morning. To provide for these kids, the center will begin having sleepovers on Friday and Saturday nights. Meals and snacks will be provided and there will be games, music and movies for entertainment. 

 

Cooking with Jeri
Tabletop soccer Playing outside
Playing outside Playing outside

 

The goal is that the center will become a focal point for the kids
and will be instrumental in bringing the community together.


Thanks to all for helping make dreams come true!

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