The Fellowship Program Gives Military Spouses Resources and Accreditation to Help Their Community Overcome Financial Strains and Advance Their Careers
WASHINGTON—The FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) and the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) announced today the 2022 FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship recipients.
Forty-five military spouses representing more than 40 bases globally will receive free training and assessment to earn their Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) designation, which can help kickstart a career in financial empowerment and improve their own financial capability. The AFC is a comprehensive life-cycle financial education, providing the knowledge and skills to assist clients in complex financial decision-making.
The fellowship program is part of an ongoing effort to increase financial readiness within the military community. Military members and their families face unique financial circumstances, often including the strain caused by regular duty station changes and deployments around the world. Moreover, a 2021 study by the Military Family Advisory Network found that a substantial number of military families have less than $500 in an emergency fund. This international opportunity, funded by the FINRA Foundation and delivered by AFCPE, offers military spouses the tools, resources, education, experience, and a network of peers to help their communities address these concerns while at the same time enhancing their careers by earning the AFC.
“The pandemic and high inflation have created financial hardships and uncertainty for many Americans, including military families. Military Spouse Fellows understand the added financial stressors service members face,” said Gerri Walsh, President of the FINRA Foundation. “Our Fellows provide expert financial counseling and education to minimize financial distress and disruptions for service members and their families. The fellowship also allows military spouses to advance in portable, rewarding careers in communities around the globe.”
Financial counseling has become a viable career opportunity that supports the military family lifestyle of moving every few years while helping spouses advance their careers and give back to the military community. More than 1,700 FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowships have been awarded since 2006. In return, Fellows have dedicated over 522,000 hours providing financial counseling and education to more than 253,000 members of the military community.
“Becoming an AFC will greatly impact my personal goals of gaining more knowledge in the area of finance that will help my family and I build personal wealth,” said Amanda Brodman, 2022 Military Spouse Fellow. “It will also allow me to help others grow financial freedom as well, which I am very passionate about.”
As part of the program, Fellows gain access to hundreds of hours of training resources, a network of more than 3,000 financial professionals within and outside the military community, and hands-on experience and support needed to succeed valued at $2,500, all at no cost to them.
“The 2022 class already possesses the qualities to make a real impact in their communities,” said Rachael DeLeon, Executive Director of AFCPE. “All of these Fellows have experienced firsthand the unique financial circumstances that today’s military community face. Gaining the AFC accreditation will provide a solid foundation to expand their career opportunities and help this population improve their financial situations.”
The 2022 Military Spouse Fellows were selected from a competitive, global pool of applicants and will immediately begin their training in military communities worldwide.
The program is open to qualifying spouses of active-duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, Coast Guard, and Army or Air National Guard or reserve component service members, as well as to spouses of the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration professionals. For more information and to sign up for program updates, visit www.afcpe.org/certification/military-spouse-fellowship.
2022 Military Spouse Fellowship Class:
- Angelina Adame-Gignac, Army, Alabama
- Daniela Agudelo, Navy, Italy
- Nina Bergmark, Army, Missouri
- Christina Blackford, Army, New York
- Amanda Brodman, Navy, California
- Laurel Browning, Navy, California
- Patti Busque, Air Force, Florida
- Andrea Corpening, Air Force, Florida
- Michele Coughlin-DeRosier, Army, Germany
- Gina Di Nola, Army, Texas
- Matthew Diehls, Army, Germany
- Kristina Ellis, Navy, Hawaii
- Dana Elmini, Navy, Italy
- Noel Estrada, Navy, Florida
- Jaime Farrell, Marine Corps, California
- Andrea Fisher, National Guard, Arkansas
- Tracey Gordon, Army, Tennessee
- Cortney Howard, Navy, Virginia
- Nicole Jameson, Air Force, Germany
- Sergio Jimenez, Air Force, North Carolina
- Stephanie Jones, Marine Corps, South Carolina
- Sara Justice, Navy, Florida
- Rachel Konchinsky-Pate, Navy, Indiana
- Tabatha Leard, Navy, Florida
- Betsy Leese, Navy, Rhode Island
- Genie Madson, Air Force, Texas
- Aimee Mensinger, Navy, California
- Julie Mitchell, Marine Corps, Japan
- Christina Molnar, Army, Germany
- Jaye Moncier, Navy, California
- Angelica Mutai, Navy, Italy
- Jessica Oxley, Army, Washington
- Shalini Patel, Air Force, Louisiana
- Cinthia Raez, Army, Germany
- Megan Riley, Army, North Carolina
- Sergio Rodriguez, Navy, Georgia
- Ayannah Rovira, National Guard, South Carolina
- Gaby Sanchez-Manney, Air Force, California
- Brandon Shurn, Air Force, Maryland
- Anthony Sisti, Navy, Japan
- Lindsey Slattery, Army, Kansas
- Rose Sloan, Army, Florida
- Jamie Thomas, Navy, Florida
- Alysse Turner, Navy, Italy
- Ashley Walker, Marine Corps, North Carolina
About the FINRA Investor Education Foundation
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that empower underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills, and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout life. In 2006, the FINRA Foundation launched a multifaceted program to expand the saving and investing knowledge of military service members and their spouses. The FINRA Foundation is an active participant in the Department of Defense Financial Readiness Network and holds a U.S. Coast Guard Qualified Organization Designation. For more information about FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit www.finrafoundation.org.
The 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®) which is accredited by NCCA and nationally recognized by both the CFPB and DoD. AFCPE supports its professionals by providing career advancement and professional development opportunities, including exceptional financial education training, the Journal for Financial Counseling & Planning, and the Annual AFCPE Symposium. Visit www.afcpe.org for more information.