Accredited Financial Counselor Program Fellowships Awarded
Pam Jodrey, wife of Staff Sergeant Paul Jodrey of the U.S. Army Reserves was up at 4:00 a.m. Tuesday, anxiously awaiting an email from the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE). The email would tell her that she was awarded one of two hundred fellowships to cover the costs of completing the Accredited Financial CounselorSM (AFC®) certification program. Upon successful completion of the program and required practicum, Pam and the other 199 recipients will be awarded the Accredited Financial Counselor® designation from AFCPE.
This is the second year that this highly-competitive fellowship program has been offered as a key component of the NASD Investor Education Foundation's military financial education program. Over the past two years, more than 4,700 military spouses applied for a fellowship, which the Foundation fully funds, and 400 individuals were awarded fellowships. This year's class is composed of 47 spouses of Air Force personnel, 53 Army spouses, 24 Marine Corps spouses and 53 Navy spouses. Four spouses from the Coast Guard also were selected. Spouses of National Guard and Reserve personnel are also represented from the Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Army National Guard, Army Reserve and Navy Reserve.
The Fellows were chosen through a rigorous process that included a review of their educational, employment and volunteer backgrounds as well as their ability to serve the military community as financial counselors. All applications went through several screenings and were read and scored by at least two reviewers to yield the final 200 successful applicants.
The Accredited Financial Counselor program, taught by the AFCPE, prepares participants to provide financial counseling to individuals and families. Financial counseling clients may need assistance with budgeting, credit use or saving for college and retirement. The two courses in the program focus on personal finance issues, counseling techniques and skills and debt management. Many employers such as credit unions, financial aid offices and community housing agencies need well-trained, ethical and caring financial counselors to meet the increasing demand for financial counseling services. Military spouses can fill this need while building a rewarding career that is flexible to the demands of the military family lifestyle.
Ms. Jodrey explains why she applied for this Fellowship: "It was a wonderful opportunity to get into a certified field, advance my skills in the financial area and help others cope with the financial challenges many military families face." Almost a year ago, Ms. Jodrey's husband was deployed to Iraq. "I understand how tough it can be for the spouses," she adds.
As part of the program, Ms. Jodrey and her colleagues will be required to offer financial counseling and financial education to military servicemembers on a volunteer or paid basis. Fellowship recipients from 2006 have already provided over 27,027 volunteer hours as part of their program. The 2007 class is expected to provide over 102,000 volunteer hours of financial counseling through 2009. The fellowship program is provided through AFCPE in conjunction with the National Military Family Association and generously funded through the NASD Investor Education Foundation.
The nationally recognized certifying agency for financial counselors seeks to provide financial solutions for life for consumers through the professional enhancement of financial counselors and educators throughout the world.
About the NASD Investor Education Foundation
The mission of the NASD Investor Education Foundation 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. The NASD Investor Education Foundation developed a multi-faceted financial education program to improve the saving and investing knowledge of military servicemembers. Among other things, the Foundation offers free financial education forums designed to help military servicemembers and families make critical savings and investing decisions with confidence. The spousal fellowship program is part of the military financial education initiative. Visit www.SaveAndInvest.org for more information on the Foundation's Military Financial Education Program and www.nasdfoundation.org for more information on additional Foundation programs.
The National Military Family Association is the only national organization whose sole focus is the military family and whose goal is to influence the development and implementation of policies that will improve the lives of the families of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For more than 35 years, its staff and volunteers, comprised mostly of military family members, have built a reputation for being the leading experts on military family issues. Visit www.nmfa.org for more information.