The Center for Rural Outreach and Public Services, Inc. (CROPS) is a nonprofit, 501 c 3 organization that was founded in 2004 by Beverly Santicola and her late mom, Ardella Paulsen. CROPS mission is to grow a new generation of rural leaders for the future. Since 2015 CROPS has primarily worked in Native American communities engaging youth and elders in inter-generational problem solving for community revitalization and improvements.
Film-making and digital media technologies are used as a platform for youth leadership development. Between 2015 and 2018 the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe youth wrote, directed, performed and produced four award winning films about serious social issues on their reservation, including teen suicide and substance abuse. Their films ESCAPE and THE STRENGTH OF SIBLINGS have been viewed by more than 5 million people online.
Leadership teams comprised of Native American youth and elders are trained to work together to solve community problems such as housing shortages, substance abuse, suicide, poverty, hunger, and environmental degradation. Over the past four years as a result of this approach the Tribe has won $42 million in new grants for solar energy, water, wastewater, health, education, suicide and substance prevention, victims assistance and child welfare services.
We're seeking matching donations of $100,000 to help the Native youth from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe produce a 53 minute PBS documentary in 2019 that tells the story of how they worked together with elders to address the housing shortage. The film will feature existing housing conditions on the reservation and their accomplishments over the year. CROPS donations are tax deductible and donors will be recognized on the big screen in the credits. Call Bev Santicola for more details.