Sage gains valuable insight into the auditing profession through YEP 

Autumn Sage, Youth Employment Worker with Internal Audit Dept.
Photo Credit: Zuriah Baker | SU DRUM

Youth Employment Program provides firsthand experience 

Southern Ute tribal member Autumn Sage, a recent high school graduate, joined the Internal Audit Department as part of the Southern Ute Education Department’s Youth Employment Program. Sage gained firsthand experience in the auditing field, working alongside auditors to develop an understanding of the profession.    

One of the primary objectives of the Summer Youth Employment Program is to ensure that participants gain practical knowledge, real-work skills, learn about the services within the Tribe, and obtain a better understanding of possible future careers with the Tribe.  

Working with Internal Audit, Sage successfully completed a significant research project focused on the Youth Employment Program and how to increase participation in that program among the tribal entities and departments. 

As part of the project, Sage reviewed information contained in the annual reports published by the Southern Ute Drum, reviewed the structure of other youth programs at other tribes, and reviewed possible skill assessment forms that could be developed.   

To assess the current level of participation across the organization, Sage also sent out an informational survey to the Growth Fund, Sky Ute Casino Resort, Southern Ute Shared Services, and the Permanent Fund departments. 

Sage developed recommendations through her research and experience to help increase participation. 

“Auditors write a lot, from preparing working papers to drafting reports, and Autumn witnessed that firsthand by researching and preparing her own 20-page report on the Youth Employee Program,” said Brian Bex, Director of Internal Audit. 

Autumn’s experience with Internal Audit underscores the benefits of the Summer Youth Employment Program, where participants gain work experience, build professional connection, and explore potential career paths, all while improving their self-confidence, leadership skills, positively contributing and helping her tribe as an employee, and the understanding of civil responsibility. 

“It’s more than just summer jobs – it’s an opportunity for our youth (Tribal and First Descendant) to grow, explore, and learn in a hands on Tribal and non-tribal environment.  It’s also a great way for our youth to gain education regarding the Tribe’s departments, holdings, services and much more,” said Dustin L. Weaver, Youth Employment Program Coordinator. 

The Summer Youth Employment Program is designed to provide students with firsthand work experience in various occupational settings. The program aims to equip students with practical knowledge, develop their professional skills, and give them a glimpse into potential career paths. 

“We commend Autumn for her hard work and dedication and willingness to challenge herself” Bex said. 


For more information on the Summer Youth Employment Program, contact Dustin Weaver, Youth Employment Program Coordinator at 970-563-2786. 

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