Judy Polyne, AFC® is a financial coach and educator, coaching clients towards their financial goals. Through her work as an adjunct professor at New York University (NYU), as well as with local nonprofit organizations, Judy teaches people what they need to understand financial wellness and how to build a brighter financial future – both individually and collectively. She offers services to all individuals, but her primary focus is providing financial counseling to women of color in higher education. Through her passion and her “Setting the Standard” attitude, Judy is making big strides toward financial and social change in her community. As this week’s #FridayFollow spotlight, Judy tells us what sparked her motivation and offers great advice that all AFCPE candidates and professionals can utilize.
AFCPE: What inspired you to do this work?
Judy: In 2002 I was researching the effects of welfare reform on women in large urban communities. I realized that one of the reasons these women struggled so much with this new change in their income was because of their lack of knowledge about how to manage their money and try to build assets.
AFCPE: You provide financial counseling and financial education in your community through several avenues. Can you provide details describing the services you provide?
Judy: I provide one-on-one financial counseling and coaching primarily to my niche market, women of color in higher education (full-time faculty, adjuncts, and graduate students). Additionally, I offer financial education classes and write curriculum for high school and college students. I have provided financial education in schools working with 3rd graders to high school students, in organizations, working with chronically unemployed, working poor, low and middle-income populations, and in individual and group settings.
AFCPE: You recently obtained your AFC®, congratulations! What does it mean to you to hold the AFC®designation as you work in these spaces?
Judy: Having the AFC® designation means that I have a level of expertise that is recognized as the standard, which I can confidently use to back-up the services that I provide in my work with clients and organizations.
AFCPE: What does it mean to provide financial counseling and financial education in your community of New York, NY?
Judy: New York is one of the most, if not the most, expensive places to live in the country. As the song goes, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” Helping people understand how to manage their money better so that they can make it here is what wakes me up every day.
AFCPE: What advice do you have for fellow AFC® candidates looking to earn hours in a similar capacity?
Judy: There is a larger need for your services than you may realize. Seek out organizations whose work moves you and offer your services there, by way of a class or brief one-on-one sessions. It’s a win-win. You will help support an organization you believe in, and they will help you move closer towards earning your certification.
AFCPE: Great advice Judy! What’s next for you? What has you most excited?
Judy: I’m really excited about focusing more energy on starting my business, Commencement Financial Services, now that I have the AFC® credential behind me.
Judy Answers the Friday 5:
- My Why: Because everyone, no matter how much they have/make deserves to be financially secure.
- My Favorite Quote: “You can’t go back and make a new start, but you can start right now and make a brand new ending.” James R. Sherman, Ph.D.
- My Hero: I’m inspired by Saundra Davis of Sage Financial Solutions for her work as a leader in this field.
- My Favorite Personal Finance Resource: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
- My best advice:
- For someone starting the journey to financial well-being: Your past does not dictate how far you can go in building a bright financial future. Start right now and build the future that you want and deserve.
- For a new professional entering this field: Your clients need your essence, your education, and your expertise. Always bring your whole self to any interaction, and you will find that your clients will turn out better for it.
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