WASHINGTONMarch 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) and the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) are accepting applications for the 2023 class of FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellows.

The national program offers eligible military spouses the opportunity to earn a career-enhancing financial credential — the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) certification — while working with the military community. Military Spouse Fellows will gain the experience and credibility needed to work in the financial field and the flexibility to achieve their career aspirations while supporting their service members and families.

A 2021 Spouse Fellow said, “At the end of our session, the veteran got somewhat emotional as they expressed appreciation for the free assistance they are able to utilize, as well expressing affirmation over their decision to serve in the military in the first place. This gratitude reinforced in me the impact I can make in the lives of others simply by pursuing something I’m passionate about (that being personal finance).”

The program is open to current or surviving spouses of active duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Space Force, National Guard or Reserve service members, as well as spouses of members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps.

Applications will be accepted until midnight EDT on Friday, April 14, 2023. Prospective candidates can apply online at: https://www.afcpe.org/military-spouse-fellowship.

The Fellowship is made possible by FINRA Investor Education Foundation in partnership with AFCPE, who administers the certification. FINRA Foundation covers the costs associated with the program’s self-study course and exam. Together, both organizations work to create a sense of community among the FINRA Foundation Fellows through their shared mission and experiences.

“FINRA Foundation research has found that more than half of Americans report feeling anxious about their finances,” said Gerri Walsh, President of the FINRA Foundation. “Equipped with training in financial counseling, FINRA Foundation Fellows can help military families to manage their financial lives and plan more confidently for their financial futures. And the AFC designation empowers military spouses by providing them with transferable skills and tools to plan for their own financial futures.”

More than 650 military spouses have earned the AFC certification courtesy of the FINRA Foundation since 2006. In pursuit of their designation, the Spouse Fellows have given back by providing financial counseling and education to more than 260,000 service members or their spouses and dedicating more than 530,000 hours to helping military families around the globe reach their financial goals.

“It’s essential for military spouses to have opportunities and tools to advance their careers,” said Rachael DeLeon, AFCPE Executive Director. “The Fellowship program uniquely impacts the spouse, their family, and the larger military community. Spouses have the opportunity to earn a nationally recognized certification, the AFC, which equips them with the knowledge and experience to help military service members and their families better navigate financial challenges and reach financial goals — now and into the future.”

Many FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellows who complete the AFC certification support the military community by serving in roles such as financial counselors on military bases, at credit counseling and tax centers, and in financial offices, among others. Fellows report strengthening knowledge and networking skills, “I think the networking … has been the most beneficial and rewarding part. I have met some incredible people and made some really great connections through the fellowship. I feel like no matter where the military takes our family, there is someone I could reach out to. It provides an extra layer of security because I know that, if needed, I could reach out to several places and get leads for a job.”

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. Since 2006, the Foundation has delivered free, unbiased financial education tools and training to service members, their spouses and military and financial educators through on-base educational forums, professional development training programs and online and printed educational resources. The Foundation holds both a Statement of Support with the Department of Defense in support of DoD’s Financial Readiness Network and a USCG Qualified Organization Designation. Learn more about the FINRA Foundation at www.finrafoundation.org.

Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) certifies, trains, and supports financial professionals to be qualified motivators of change for people with life goals, regardless of where they are or where they’ve been on their financial journey. Our comprehensive certification programs represent the highest standard for financial counseling, coaching and education, including the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®). The AFC certification is accredited by NCCA and nationally recognized by the CFPB and DoD. AFCPE membership is made up of a diverse and inclusive community representing professionals from across the financial continuum. AFCPE offers a strong professional network, as well as access to tools and resources that advance your work and enhance your career. To learn more visit, www.afcpe.org.

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