Yvonne “Tiny” DeCory is among those working to stop suicides on Pine Ridge. If the reservation's suicide epidemic were a hurricane, she's standing in the eye. DeCory is founder of the BEAR program, which stands for “Be Excited About Reading.” DeCory and her student volunteers—many of them suicide survivors—put on musical and dance skits to help kids struggling with reading as well as the serious issues of life on the reservation, including suicide. Her work has been highlighted by PBS, the BBC, the Huffington Post, and more. Tiny’s Native Hope Fellowship will afford the BEAR program and its mission to expand to other reservations in South Dakota where the suicide levels are equally devastating.


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