Meaningful work wherever life takes you
As we enter the application period for the 2021 FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship, we approached two 2020 FINRA Foundation award-winning Fellows with some Friday Five questions. Learn more about their passion for this work and why others should apply for the fellowship program.
The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship program provides military spouses the opportunity to earn the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) certification—while providing financial counseling and education to the military community.
Danae Hoekstra, AFC®
FINRA Foundation Fellowship Class of 2014
2020 FINRA Foundation Fellow of the Year
- My Why: Having the AFC® opens so many opportunities that you may not have otherwise. This truly is a connected community helping you to both finish the program and find jobs after the fact.
- My Favorite Quote: “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
- My Hero: Holly Petraeus, Military spouse and former Director of the CFPB Office of Service Member Affairs
- My Favorite Personal Finance Tool/Resource: SCRA for Debt Reduction/Snowball debt reduction planning
- My Advice for Someone Who is Thinking About Applying for the Military Spouse Fellowship: The time commitment can feel a bit overwhelming before you apply, or lack of background. Please don’t let this stand in your way. The program is built with lots of support in place to help you succeed. This is a doorway to so many wonderful possibilities, not just a job, but a career.
Joe Blakistone, AFC®
FINRA Foundation Fellowship Class of 2016
2020 FINRA Foundation Mentor of the Year
- My Why: My AFC® certification provides me the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others. Many clients I work with are faced with difficult situations and are often being taken advantage of by others. Giving clients the right information and standing side by side with them against those trying to take advantage of them is truly meaningful work.
- My Favorite Quote: “Somebody’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago “ – Warren Buffett
- My Hero: My wife, Blythe. She makes me proud to be her husband.
- My Favorite Personal Finance Tool/Resource: Spreadsheets! They’re like magic…
- My Advice for Someone Who is Thinking About Applying for the Military Spouse Fellowship: If you are thinking about applying, talk with another Military Spouse Fellow (MSF) and ask them any questions or concerns you might have. The Fellowship alumni are a great group of people who probably know the answers to your questions or can connect you with someone that does. It’s a great program that is specifically designed for military spouses – take advantage of it!
I have had the pleasure of working with both these fantastic, creative, determined, helpful financial counselors! Joe and I were AFC candidates together and were study buddies for the AFC exam. Danae and I work for the same company and have worked together on a couple of PFC projects. They are both EXCELLENT at what they do for their clients and community and they are both deserving of the awards and recognition! So proud of you! 🙂 Keep fighting the good fight!