Solar was brought to the One Spirit - Allen Youth & Community Center (AYC) to help the Lakota Nation gain independence and continue to provide their youth with culturally enriching activities. The Center supports over 4,000 Lakota children, youth, and community members at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Pine Ridge Reservation, home to 40,000 Lakota, faces immense challenges due to poverty. Approximately 97% of the population lives below the Federal poverty level, with median household incomes ranging between $2,600-$3,500 per year. This makes the reservation one of the poorest counties in the United States. Additionally, at least 60% of homes lack basic necessities such as water, electricity, adequate insulation, and sewage systems, perpetuating the harsh living conditions for the community.
One Spirit's powerful mission is to uplift the Lakota community by meeting their basic needs and cultivating a culturally rich life for their youth. With a focus on reducing hunger, eliminating high dropout and suicide rates among youth, and fostering enthusiasm for learning and pride in Lakota heritage, One Spirit aims to shield the community from the harsh winter cold, which can plummet to 40 below zero.
The Allen Youth & Community Center (AYC) plays a pivotal role in this mission. Through daily activities, including tutoring, music and art classes, astronomy, and cultural events, AYC provides essential nourishment and nurturing experiences for the youth.
By providing the Allen Youth Center with an 18.4 kW solar energy system, we enhanced their sovereignty and increased their sustainability. The funds saved is allowing AYC to feed more children, provide enriching activities, and strengthen the overall welfare of the community. This solar array also plays a crucial role in making the reservation greener and fostering a more sustainable environment.
"One Spirit's impactful programming at the Allen Youth Center is truly invaluable, providing essential support to the community, including serving over 4,000 meals to youth annually. In an area where poverty persists, every dollar holds significant weight. With an annual savings of $1,500 from the solar installation, we can now expand our meal service programming and offer a wider array of enriching activities to the youth, ensuring the preservation of their cultural heritage and fostering a brighter future for them." said Jeri Baker, One Spirit Executive Director.
THANK YOU to individuals and organizations who have made contributions to help bring solar to the Lakota Nation Youth!
Special Thanks to....
Tom Curran, Adam Hudson, Magnus Kulikoswka, Ellen MacNeale & Family, Kevin Malek, Lauren Barbara Michaels, Elizabeth Padilla, Jonathan Sauerbron, Thomas Schoder, Carl Sorenson, Frances Stewart, Yiwei Wang, Randolph Middle School, NJ - Capstone Project Students. Google, SalesForce, Paypal Giving Fund, Soda Popinski, Target Rapid City.