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News Release
FINRA Foundation

Angelita Plemmer Williams
Director, Media Relations, FINRA
(202) 728-8988


Rachael DeLeon
Communications Director, AFCPE
(614) 368-1055 

2017 FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Application Now Open

Opportunity for Military Spouses to Earn A Career-Enhancing Credential While Providing Financial Readiness to Military Service Members and Families

WASHINGTON — Starting today, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program is accepting applications for its 2017 class of financial fellows — a unique program designed to increase the financial capability of U.S. service members and their families.

The national program offers military spouses the opportunity to earn a career-enhancing credential — the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) — while providing financial counseling and education to the military community.

Applications must be received no later than midnight, EDT, April 21, 2017. The 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. Prospective candidates can apply online at

Since 2006, the FINRA Foundation has accepted more than 1,400 military spouses as Fellows. Earning the AFC® designation, Fellows have provided financial counseling and education to more than 170,000 service members and spent more than 440,000 hours helping military families reach their financial goals. Upon completion of the AFC certification program, 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.

The program is provided by the FINRA Foundation, in partnership with the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®), which administers the certification, and the National Military Family Association (NMFA), which assists with the selection process. The FINRA Foundation covers the costs associated with the program’s self-study course and exam.

"FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellows have delivered hundreds of thousands of hours of service to the military community by counseling service members and their families to take charge of their personal finances," said Gerri Walsh, President of the FINRA Foundation. "They have changed people’s lives by teaching them how to reverse cycles of debt, live within their means and actively plan for their financial future.”

“Because of the transient lifestyle of many military families, regular employment can be challenging for military spouses,” said Rebecca Wiggins, AFCPE Executive Director. “The AFC certification provides the education and experience to earn the highest standard in financial counseling and education – the AFC certification. The program opens doors for a portable and rewarding career, while allowing military spouses to give back to the military community.”

“NMFA is proud to work with the 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."

Full biographies of selected accredited spouse fellows are available at

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.

Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) ensures the highest integrity of the financial counseling profession by certifying, connecting, and supporting diverse professionals. Our comprehensive certification programs represent the gold standard for financial counseling, coaching and education, including the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) and FFC (Financial Fitness Coach) certifications. The AFC certification is accredited by NCCA and nationally recognized by both the CFPB and DoD. AFCPE supports their professionals by providing career advancement and professional development opportunities, including exceptional financial education trainings, the Journal for Financial Counseling & Planning and Annual AFCPE Research & Training Symposium. To learn more visit,

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