Indigenous Youth Financial Fitness Program

Thanks to funding from the Xcel Energy Foundation, Spirit of the Sun has held entrepreneurship and financial literacy training programs for Indigenous youth and young adults since 2014. The tradition of these programs have been improved and continued on into present day.

Since August 2017, we have put on seven days of IYFF workshops including:

  • September 16 & October 7, 2017: NYET Program with topics including “Building and Keeping your Credit,” “Creating a Spending Plan,” and a presentation by native entrepreneurs.
  • October 14, 2017: Spending Frenzy Simulation, where youth simulated a year’s spending with a $40,000 value.
  • January 27, 2018: Spending Frenzy Simulation, with a $40,000 value, and then $20,000, to show that it is difficult to live on a minimum wage salary.
  • June 13, 2018: Resume Building and Interview Preparation workshop.
  • August 17-18, 2018: A closed, complete Building Native Communities Curriculum presented to Native youth with Southern Peaks Regional Treatment Center in their Medicine Bear Program.


Program Evolution

2017 Success

In 2017, Spirit of the Sun and our partners reworked the program to cater specifically to the needs of Indigenous youth. The Fall 2017 programs taught budgeting and financial literacy skills, and then allowed the youth to practice budgeting in a fun and engaging simulation. The program also included a Vision Collage activity, which gave the youth a chance to think about their futures, and envision how managing their finances will allow them to accomplish their goals.

Topics included:
– Creating a Spending Plan
– Building and Keeping my Credit
– Native Entrepreneur Presentation
– “Spending Frenzy” Budgeting Simulation
– Vision Collage Activity

2018 Success

Based on positive feedback from previous program participants, Spirit of the Sun continued to expand the size and scope of this program in 2018. By providing vital education on topics such as health insurance, paying for college, and resume building, we will ensure that Colorado’s Native youth can succeed in today’s competitive business landscape.

An event that stemmed from the progress of this program was the Spending Frenzy Simulation. More information about what this event was and how it impacted our youth/young adults please visit our Past Events page.

Future Success

Spirit of the Sun will continue to host programs and events in the future, in order to instill financial literacy, business etiquette, and leadership qualities in Indigenous and Native youth located in urban areas.