News Release

FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Application Now Open

For Release: 
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Ray Pellecchia, FINRA Foundation
(212) 858-4387

Besa Pinchotti, NMFA
(703) 931-6632

Rachael DeLeon, AFCPE®
(703) 570-6663

Financial-Readiness Program Helps Military Spouses Foster Their Own Careers

WASHINGTON — The FINRA Investor Education Foundation's Military Spouse Fellowship Program today opened the application process for its 2016 class of Military Spouse Fellows. The program provides military spouse recipients with the education and training needed to earn the Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) designation.

Military spouses can apply online. All applications are due by April 22, 2016 at midnight EST.

The FINRA Foundation administers the Military Spouse Fellowship in partnership with the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) and the National Military Family Association, a nonprofit that works to strengthen and protect military families. The program covers the costs associated with completing the AFC certification.

"FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellows pay it forward," said Gerri Walsh, President of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. "Our Fellows gain expertise and skills, and have credibility with other service members and their spouses because they 'speak military' and live the lifestyle. We're proud to offer Fellowships that impact the financial well-being of so many service members, and appreciate the Fellows' contributions to the military community."

Since the inception of the fellowship in 2006, nearly 500 military spouses have earned the AFC certification and logged more than 418,000 hours helping military families reach their financial goals. Upon completion of the program, Military Spouse Fellows continue to support the military community as financial counselors at family readiness and support centers, credit counseling and tax centers, financial aid offices, and credit unions throughout the U.S. and abroad.

"These organizations are in need of well-trained specialists who understand the unique financial needs of military families," says Rebecca Wiggins, AFCPE Executive Director. "AFC certification sets the standard in financial counseling and education. The program allows military spouses to give back to the military community but also supports them in building a portable and rewarding career."

"NMFA is proud to work with FINRA Foundation and AFCPE to help make military spouses more aware of this opportunity to receive the AFC certification," said Joyce Wessel Raezer, NMFA Executive Director. "Helping military spouses gain this certification creates a financial education multiplier effect in military communities at a time when more and more families struggle to make smart decisions about their family finances."

Profiles of selected Fellows are available at

The Fellowship Program is open to current or surviving spouses of active duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard or Reserve service members, as well as spouses of members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps.

About the FINRA Investor Education Foundation
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give underserved Americans the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life. In 2006, the Foundation launched a multifaceted program to expand the saving and investing knowledge of military service members and their spouses, including a free, unbiased resource, 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®) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, training and certifying financial counselors and educators. AFCPE offers rigorous certification programs in financial counseling and coaching including the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) certification which is nationally recognized by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Department of Defense. AFCPE supports financial professionals by providing career advancement and professional development opportunities, including exceptional financial education trainings, the Journal for Financial Counseling & Planning and our Annual Research & Training Symposium.

About the National Military Family Association
The National Military Family Association is the leading non-profit dedicated to serving the families who stand behind the uniform. Since 1969, NMFA has worked to strengthen and protect millions of families through its advocacy and programs. They provide spouse scholarships, camps for military kids, and retreats for families reconnecting after deployment and for the families of the wounded, ill, or injured. NMFA serves the families of the currently serving, retired, wounded or fallen members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and NOAA. To get involved or to learn more, visit