For Immediate Release

Contact: George Smaragdis
George.Smaragdis@finra.org
www.SaveAndInvest.org/MilitaryCenter
202.728.8988

Military Spouses Receive Fellowships to Conduct Financial Counseling

FINRA Foundation Program Helps Military Families Overcome Financial Obstacles

August 20, 2012

WASHINGTON, August 20, 2012— Fifty military spouses throughout the U.S. and overseas have been awarded the FINRA Investor Education Foundation's 2012 Military Spouse Fellowship. The fellowship provides spouses with the training they need to earn the Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) designation. This accreditation will give these military spouses marketable job skills and the resources and expertise they need to help military families overcome financial obstacles.

The program, which began in 2006, is administered in partnership with the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) and the National Military Family Association. The fellowship covers the costs associated with completing the AFC® training and testing. Since its inception in 2006, the program has awarded more than 1,200 fellowships to military spouses across the United States and around the world.

“FINRA Foundation Spouse Fellows fill a critical need by reaching tens of thousands of military servicemembers and their families and helping them build a strong financial future," said FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh. "Now in its seventh year, the goal of this program remains steadfast: provide military families with the information they need to improve their financial readiness."

Recipients of the Military Spouse Fellowship commit to completing the courses of study and working in the financial counseling field serving their communities for up to two years. To date, spouse fellows have logged more than 337,000 hours assisting servicemembers and their communities. Current accredited spouses serve as financial counselors at family readiness and support centers, credit counseling and tax centers, financial aid offices and local military credit unions throughout the U.S. and abroad.

“Military Spouse Fellowship recipients must commit to completing the rigorous AFC® coursework along with earning field experience through practicum work serving their military communities. However, the program is tailored to meet and support the needs of military spouses through instructional webinars, self-scheduled exams and flexible practicum opportunities,” said Rebecca Wiggins, Interim Executive Director of AFCPE®.

"Military spouses truly understand the financial benefits and challenges that military life brings,” said Joyce Wessel Raezer, Executive Director of the National Military Family Association. “This program helps military spouses build a successful and rewarding career while helping military families through deployments and PCS moves.”

The program is open to spouses of active-duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Army or Air National Guard or reserve component servicemembers, as well as to spouses of U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration professionals.
A list of the 2012 class of spouse fellows is available upon request. Full biographies of selected accredited spouse fellows are available at www.SaveandInvest.org/MilitaryCenter/MilitarySpouseFellowships.


About the FINRA Investor Education Foundation

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation is the largest foundation in the United States dedicated to investor education. Its mission 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. In 2006, the Foundation launched a multifaceted program to expand the saving and investing knowledge of military servicemembers and their spouses, including a free, unbiased resource, www.SaveAndInvest.org/MilitaryCenter. A proud partner in the Department of Defense Financial Readiness Campaign, the Foundation also presents financial education forums at military installations worldwide.

About AFCPE®

The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) provides professional development experiences for financial educators, practitioners and researchers to improve the economic well-being of individuals and families worldwide. The Association's vision is to be internationally recognized as the leading provider of professional development opportunities for financial educators, counselors, and researchers. Visit www.afcpe.org for more information.

About the National Military Family Association

The National Military Family Association is the leading nonprofit dedicated to serving the families who stand behind the uniform. Since 1969, NMFA has worked to strengthen and protect millions of families through its advocacy and programs. They provide spouse scholarships, camps for military kids, and retreats for families reconnecting after deployment and for the families of the wounded, ill, or injured. NMFA serves the families of the currently serving, retired, wounded or fallen members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and NOAA. To get involved or to learn more, visit www.MilitaryFamily.org.

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