#FridayFollow: Meet the 2021 FINRA Milspouse of the year!
Adriana Lopez, AFC® is an Army Veteran helping to educate people to understand their finances better, and has been recognized as the 2021 FINRA Milspouse of the Year for her hard work. Like so many Fellows, becoming an AFC is an opportunity to have a career that moves with you while simultaneously making an impact in the military community.. Read on to learn more about Adriana’s professional journey and the impact the Military Spouse Fellowship Program has had in her career!
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.
AFCPE: What led you to a career in personal finance?
Adriana: Wanting to help people including myself understand their finances better. I like seeing people gain confidence not only in their finances but in themselves and have hope. Seeing this motivates me and makes me realize the positive impact that we can have in people’s lives.
AFCPE: Tell us about your professional journey. How did you learn about the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship, and what inspired you to pursue AFC certification?
Adriana: I served in the Army and then worked as a Federal Civilian Employee for about 12 years in the procurement and logistics field. The year was 2020 and we had just PCSed overseas. I came across a FB post on the local military spouse networking page and was very impressed with the FINRA Military Spouse Fellowship and what AFCPE had to offer and saw it as a calling. I had previously helped women in a recovery program work on a transition budget without any formal training and thought I could learn the skill sets necessary to better assist people and earn a nationally recognized accreditation.
AFCPE: Congratulations on being named the 2021 FINRA Milspouse of the Year! What has your experience been so far as a fellow?
Adriana: Thank-you! I’ve learned so much in this process about myself and have grown tremendously in my professional and personal development. I have met such amazing people including other Fellows, AFCs, financial professionals, community leaders, and organizers, that are just as passionate about helping others and willing to share their expertise.
AFCPE: What impact has this program had, or will have, on your career?
Adriana: I’ve had an opportunity to do volunteer work in different sectors; everything from non-profit, private, and military-affiliated organizations to diversify my portfolio. Once I earn my AFC certification, it will help me gain credibility, open more doors, and make me more marketable to pursue my career goals.
AFCPE: Tell us about a project or initiative you are currently working on?
Adriana: I am really excited to be working for Crusaders 4 Change and producing a podcast called Yahweh’s Money: The Crossroads of Religion and Money, which is going to take on different topics such as tithing, saving, debt, and much more from a religious view. Our official launch date is May 5th, 2022, so stay tuned!
AFCPE: What is the best way to connect with you (social links, etc.)?
Adriana: Connect with me on LinkedIn!
Adriana answers the Friday 5:
- My Favorite Quote: “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” Arthur Ashe
- My Hero: My Mother, her perseverance and resilience inspire me.
- My Favorite Resource: There are so many but if I had to pick one CFPB is my go-to.
- My Best Advice: It’s ok not to have all the answers and make mistakes, see it as a valuable opportunity to learn and grow.
- For someone starting the journey to financial well-being: Find a mentor/mentors. There are many people willing to pour into you and help guide you along your journey. Having someone that understands what you are going through is comforting during challenging times. Mentors not only offer their experience and knowledge, but also encouragement and accountability.
- For someone who is thinking about applying for the fellowship: If you like helping people do it, this experience is life-changing. It will enhance and impact your life and others in more ways than you can imagine. You will learn many skills including personal finance, counseling, communication, social, listening, networking, and much more!
The 2022 FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship application deadline is May 2, 2022.
If you are interested in applying, go HERE to learn more.
If you are connected with a military spouse or the military community, help us spread the word! We’ve created an easy TOOLKIT for you to use!