Ft. Thompson, SD – September 24, 2012 – The Crow Creek Asset Building Okodakiciyapi, a collaborative of community partners, facilitated a summer savings program in which 20 youth, ages 6-13, saved a total of $4,020 in order to achieve their financial goals of purchasing a bicycle or laptop.
The program combined financial education lessons with hands-on activities that demonstrated the value of hard work and encouraged entrepreneurship to a total of 46 youth participants. By participating in designated program activities, the children earned stipends, which were deposited into a savings account and matched 2:1 by partners of the Crow Creek Asset Building Okodakiciyapi. Depending on age level, children were able to put up to $300 towards their savings goal upon program completion.
“It is amazing to see our children of Crow Creek embrace an entrepreneurial spirit and concepts of self-sufficiency. I have no doubt that these kids are walking away with greater confidence to follow their dreams, and we can’t wait for next summer’s program to do it again,” says Krystal Langholz, Executive Director of Hunkpati Investments, a partner in the community collaborative.
The Crow Creek Asset Building Okodakiciyapi is funded by Administration for Native Americans, the Assets for Independence Program, and the Northwest Area Foundation and is comprised of seven community partners, including the Boys & Girls Club, Crow Creek Housing Authority, Crow Creek Tribal Schools, Diamond Willow Ministries, Great Western Bank, Hunkpati Investments, and Lutheran Social Services. The group also facilitates several other programs with an asset-building focus, including an adult financial education and matched savings program, a youth workforce development and financial skills program, and a teen matched savings program.
“These programs provide the knowledge, skills, and resources needed for individuals and families of the Crow Creek Reservation to start building assets and creating wealth in their communities,” states Langholz.
About Hunkpati Investments
Hunkpati Investments is a Native community development financial institution (CDFI) providing basic financial services and helping individuals overcome the barriers currently preventing access to capital. Formed in 2009, Hunkpati Investments provides financial opportunities to stimulate economic development on the Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation, promoting self-sufficiency, self-determination, and an enhanced quality of life for the reservation community. Hunkpati Investments provides entrepreneurship support and financing, as well as various asset building services and products.