Military Spouses Awarded Financial Counseling Fellowships
George Smaragdis (202) 728-8988
FINRA Foundation Program Provides Spouses with Portable Job Skills, Helps Military Families Overcome Financial Obstacles
Washington, DC — Nearly 200 military spouses have been awarded the FINRA Investor Education Foundation's 2009 Military Spouse Fellowship to earn the Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) designation. This accreditation will give them marketable job skills and provide them with the tools and expertise they need to help military families overcome financial obstacles.
The program, now in its fourth year, is administered in partnership with the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) and the National Military Family Association (NMFA). The fellowship covers the costs associated with completing the AFC® training and testing.
The 195 military spouses who received the fellowship were selected from thousands of applicants and will join a corps of nearly 600 U.S. military spouses from around the world who provide military families with important financial counseling services-from budgeting and credit management to help with planning their finances for PCS moves and deployments.
"In this tough economic climate, it's more important than ever for military families to have the resources they need to plan for their financial future," said John Gannon, President of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. "The Military Spouse Fellowship program not only helps military spouses develop portable, professional careers, but also helps provide military families with a financial lifeline at a time when they may need it most."
Recipients of the Military Spouse Fellowship must commit not only to completing the courses of study, but also to volunteering in the financial counseling field serving the military community for up to two years. Gordon Genovese, Executive Director of AFCPE®, noted that "while demanding, we've designed the program to meet the needs of our military spouses, particularly those overseas, by including instructional webinars, self-scheduled exams and flexible volunteer opportunities." To date, spouse fellows have logged nearly 140,000 hours in volunteer service.
Of this year's fellowship recipients, 35 percent are Army spouses, 28 percent are Navy spouses, 22 percent are Air Force spouses and 12 percent are Marine Corps spouses. The 2009 class of spouse fellows includes 26 spouses who live abroad.
Current accredited spouses serve as financial counselors at family readiness and support centers, credit counseling and tax centers, financial aid offices and local credit unions throughout the U.S. and overseas. These organizations are often in need of well-trained specialists who understand military families' financial needs.
"Military families face unique challenges due to their mobile lifestyle—the result of frequent PCS moves and deployments—that can disrupt the lives of military families and a spouse's career path," said Joyce Wessel Raezer, Chief Operating Officer of NMFA. "The Military Spouse Fellowship Program gives spouses portable job skills that are flexible to the demands of the military lifestyle and can help them build a rewarding career in the financial counseling field."
The program is open to spouses of active duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army or Air National Guard or reserve component servicemembers, as well as spouses of U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration professionals.
A list of the 2009 class of spouse fellows is available upon request. Full biographies of selected accredited spouse fellows are available at www.SaveandInvest.org/Military.
About the FINRA Investor Education Foundation
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation is the largest foundation in the United States dedicated to investor education. Its mission is to provide investors with high-quality, easily accessible information and tools to better understand the markets and the basic principles of saving and investing. In 2006, the Foundation launched a multifaceted program to expand the saving and investing knowledge of military servicemembers and their spouses, including a free, unbiased resource, www.SaveandInvest.org/Military. A proud partner in the Department of Defense Financial Readiness Campaign, the Foundation also presents financial education forums at military installations worldwide.
The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) provides professional development experiences for financial educators, practitioners and researchers to improve the economic well-being of individuals and families worldwide. The Association's vision is to be internationally recognized as the leading provider of professional development opportunities. Visit www.afcpe.org for more information.
Military families serve our country with pride, honor, and quiet dedication. The National Military Family Association is the leading nonprofit organization committed to strengthen and protect the families of the men and women currently serving, retired, wounded or fallen. We provide families of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and NOAA with information, work to get them the benefits they deserve, and offer programs that improve their lives. Our 40 years of service and accomplishments have made us a trusted resource for military families and the Nation's leaders. Visit www.militaryfamily.org for more information.