Real Money, Real Experts

Facebook Live: Military Spouse Fellowship

March 16, 2021 AFCPE® Season 1 Episode 22
Real Money, Real Experts
Facebook Live: Military Spouse Fellowship
Show Notes Transcript

In this Facebook Live, co-hosts Rebecca and Dr. Mary Bell Carlson interview with two Military Spouse Fellows, Shay Cook of Crusaders4Change and Jen Hemphill. 

Shay and Jen share their experience applying for the Military Spouse Fellowship, how earning the AFC® certification impacted their careers, and answer audience questions about the program. 

*Note this episode was pre-recorded during a live event on March 16th. 

Intro:

Welcome to Real Money, Real Experts, a podcast where leading financial counseling and coaching experts share their stories, their challenges, and their advice for helping people manage money in the real world. I'm your host, Rebecca Wiggins, Executive Director of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® or AFCPE®. And I'm your cohost, Dr. Mary Bell Carlson. I'm an Accredited Financial Counselor®, or AFC®, and the CEO of Chief Financial Mom. Every episode, we're taking a deep dive into the topics the personal finance professionals care about: helping clients, building community and your professional growth. Welcome everyone to the Real Money, Real Experts podcast. I'm Rebecca. And I'm Mary.

Rebecca Wiggins:

Today on our special Facebook live episode, we are talking about the Military Spouse Fellowship program. I have to say this program is near and dear to my heart. It started back in 2006 and just a little shout out to the class of 2006. That was my year of , helping with that program. And so it's just been really amazing to see this program continue through the years. The fellowship started, as I said back in 2006, with generous funding and support from FINRA Investor Education Foundation, and was actually also in collaboration with Department of Defense and National Military Family Association. Since then we have awarded over 1,600 fellowships to military spouses, and fellows have provided over 500,000 hours of financial counseling and education to over 155,000 service members. So that impact is really impressive. And we're just so thrilled with the program. Today, we are joined with two special guests, both of whom have earned their AFC designation through the fellowship program. And so I am pleased to introduce Shay cook and Jen Hemphill. Welcome to the podcast today.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

Welcome.

Jen Hemphill:

Thank you so much.

Shay Cook:

Thank you

Rebecca Wiggins:

So let's jump in and just have you both share a little bit about who you are and what you currently do. Let's start with you, Shay.

Shay Cook:

Yeah, thanks Rebecca. So I'm the CEO and founder now Crusaders for Change started around 2016 and we provide financial counseling, coaching, and classes to those that are ready to get out of debt, improve their credit, they've meet financial goals and more. Also through that, I consult with the FINRA foundation who, like you said , we collaborate with AFCPE to oversee this Military Spouse Fellowship program. And I'm really proud to be a part of that. And I'm part of the class of 2007.

Rebecca Wiggins:

Awesome. And you Jen?

Jen Hemphill:

Well , as you said , Jen Hemphill here, and basically I provide financial education to women and more specifically, most lately to Latinas. I do this through my podcast , Her Dinero Matters as well as working with brands and I'm going to be doing my first live event , this coming week. So I've been a focus on that and just really bringing more financial education to the Latino community.

Rebecca Wiggins:

Awesome.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

Great. Thank you both for joining us. We're excited to be here. J en, let's start with you this time. Tell us, how did you get into f inancial counseling?

Jen Hemphill:

It starts with my husband. Basically back. Yes. Back in that two. I don't know if it was 2000, I would say about 2007. I got an email from him and he knew I was always into the finances cause I'd be telling him don't do that. You're spending too much or whatever. I was the one navigating and in control of the finances. And at that time I had already made a decision or we had made a decision. Of course, I wanted this, but he, he definitely a big supporter. I wanted to be at home as a military spouse. I wanted to be at home with my kids, but I also wanted to have a career. I didn't know what that looked like at the time, but I was, I was determined to have my cake and eat it too. And, so from there, my husband sent me this email about the Military Spouse Fellowship program. And that's really what started it. I, I, he says, I think you'll be interested in it. And I was like, yes, I am. So I applied and there's just been no looking back. I'm very grateful for the program. And it really it's what gave me the start of what I wanted to do in terms of having a career, being at home with my kids as a military spouse and having that flexibility with all the moves.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

Wow. That's incredible that in, and I look at where you've gone in just a little over 10 years that you've been in business and what an incredible movement that you've made. I also kind of laugh a little bit because you were doing 2020 before 2020 was a thing. You were kind of juggling the business and the mom side at the same time. Good for you. That's awesome. Hey, Shay, tell us about you. How did you get into financial counseling?

Shay Cook:

Yeah, to be honest. I didn't want to do financial counseling. It was really my calling and I would always tell people in 2006, we were stationed at Air Force Base. My husband was Air Force. I , you know, it was called by the Lord to be honest, my spirit to do this. But honestly, before that, I was just focused on, you know, providing, you know, wanted to get my degrees in psychology. I was working for the family center and Air Force Base. And I had worked for the credit union before. So I always had a knack for finances everywhere I go. Everybody always asks me to be a treasurer or to help them. I was always pulled into some kind of way of doing personal finances. So finally, I, you know, one of my colleagues that the airmen and Airmen and Family Readiness Center in Turkey was like, there's this program you should apply. I'm like, okay, it looks good on my resume. I'll do it. But honestly, after I put everything together and my, you know, and in my spirit speaking to me, I was like, okay, obviously I really need to listen to this and move forward. So , I really wanted to focus on psychology, but guess what it all goes hand in hand. So.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

Wow. Wow. So much both of you have come so far in just such a short period of time. And now if I heard correctly, was it both of you 2007?

Jen Hemphill:

2008.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

You were 2008 and Shay to them said , wow, great. Well, we're glad to have you.

Rebecca Wiggins:

So tell us a little bit about what you think makes a good, the characteristics of a great AFC and sort of somebody that you think would be , really a great candidate for this fellowship program?

Shay Cook:

Yeah. For me, it's really about that integrity, the trust of an individual, you know, having good morals and values, but also knowledge experience and expertise that comes along with you. Obviously, if you apply to the fellowship, you're going to gain some of that. But for me, a great AFC has all of that and just really values people and helping them.

Jen Hemphill:

I think for me, is just being willing to listen and just not listen just to the person you're serving, but listen to learn because I know we all have our own ways of how we think finances should be managed, but I think we, that person that makes a good candidate needs to be able to set those hardcore beliefs or how they think money should be managed aside to really be able to serve the client well. So I think those are really some good characteristics of just being able to listen, not just for the client, but just being able to listen and learn as well, be open that your way is not necessarily the only way as we know it. Isn't personal finances . Personal is there's no one way to do it.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

Yeah. And I think you both have hit on the really two fundamental components of why this is called personal finance and it's about people. You know, it's one thing to talk about money and to know the numbers and to help somebody with the financial side. But it's a whole nother thing because it is about them. It's about their family and it's hearing them, they , everyone wants to be heard in one way or another. So thank you both for sharing that. Now I have a question for you on the fellowship program. How did earning your AFC impact your career? Both of you have alluded to it, but give us more detail on how it's really impacted. Shay you want to go first on this?

Shay Cook:

Okay. Jen, she can go

Jen Hemphill:

Well for me, how it's impacted. As I mentioned before, I, I mean, I knew I wanted to have my cake and eat it too, but I did not know that came in the form of entrepreneurship. That was not anywhere in my brain of thought nothing. When I came , went into the program, my understanding of the program was that the fellowship was really to support military spouses to have a mobile career. So I equated that to having finding a job on base at the Family Readiness Center. The , the side of the Air Force that supports families. Right. So that's how I equated it. I'm like, Oh, okay, I'll get this. And then I will find a job at the Airmen Readiness Center or the Family Readiness Center. And then from there we'll move. And then I'll find another job at the Family Readiness Center. But what I didn't realize that that time is people like to stay at their jobs, right. They, they like to work in, and, and serve . So I realized that that wasn't necessarily going to work , in terms of when I went on, on base. And then I started exploring my options. Now did I figured it out right away. No, it's taken me a while because I really didn't. I got, I finished my hours . So I , I started in 2008. I really took the whole time to finish the classes and the hours. And then it wasn't until 2000. Let's see, I have to think of when 2014 ish, 2015, when, I was like, I'm going to do this as a business. And then it was literally trying to figure out what running a business meant. So it was just the trajectory of first, I didn't think it was in the form of business. I just thought it was working a 9-5 at a military installation, and then realizing that there were other options and the online world came into play and it eventually evolved to what it is today.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

Wow.

Shay Cook:

For me. Yeah. It impacted me like, Oh my God, I still can't believe it. Sometimes when I think about it and I share the story, but it opened so many doors for so many positions for me within the federal government. So again, my spirit spoke to me in 2006, 2007, I'm honored with this program accepted into it. I finished in 2008 because I was getting, I , when we moved from Turkey, my husband was medically retired from the Air Force, we moved from Turkey to Maryland area. And I got a job with the Army in DC in 2008. And the Financial Readiness Program manager left literally like two months after I started there as the Relocation Program Manager. So I was able at the time to get all my hours within like seven months and finished the program in 2008. And so I was really just delegated at that position, but eventually I obtained that position full time, but then I moved up to the Director of the ACS, Army Community Service. But then I was laid off because the old Walter Reed closed, they went over, to Bethesda , and they weren't, they didn't move all of us over there and including me, but within two , two weeks of being laid off, I started at the Coast Guard. They had a position open and they didn't have a Financial Readiness Program. So here I am like, okay, although the services have it, they don't have an official program. So I'm able to start that program there. And having the AFC really brought, brought a lot of credibility to conversations with the Admirals and the senior , civilians, because there was nobody in the headquarters at that time with an AFC. So here I am coming from experience from not only the credit unions, the Air Force, the Army, and speaking on behalf of the Coast Guard to be able to start a program there. Right policy. So it was just, just like, you know, Jen was saying, trajectory, trajectory was so amazing for me. I just moved up and up and up, and then eventually I kind of reached that, reached that ceiling. And I finally started the business in 2016 after being told to do it in 2006. So I was finally obedient to my spirit, but it was just all of that experience in between there and that 10 years was so amazing. And it was all because of the AFC .

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

That's awesome. And I do have a follow-up. If I understand correctly, both of your husbands are still active duty?

Shay Cook:

Mine is retired.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

Yeah. Okay. And so that I think is a part of the complication for many military spouses, is that they're having to follow often their spouse , wherever their spouse goes. So even if you did get a PFM position or a PFC position somewhere, then you're up and moving and there may not be that position. So talk to me a little bit of what that is like, and how this really credential has helped you be more mobile rather than stuck in a certain area?

Jen Hemphill:

I can start if you want. I, as I mentioned earlier, I thought that after I got my AFC, that my place was going to be in different military installations. But I quickly learned, or maybe it was the installations that we were stationed at at that time that, that wasn't going to be the quick path because the positions weren't available. And I wanted to get moving. And that's when I was like, I need to create the path myself. Right. And that's when I started the business, slowly and failing and picking myself back up and, and just repeating that process. But I think that's really, I mean, in terms of, if you don't see the opportunity. Because I, like I said, I thought the path, how I understood the fellowship program was for us to have those mobile careers, meaning at military installations, but that was my interpretation. But delayed later, I learned that I could create my own path and opportunities since I started more opportunities are available. Even if you don't go into business for yourself. I mean, I have seen the growth and the number, especially on my podcasts , like when I interview guests or in my network, people are asking me about the AFC and their interest is there, and not always necessarily military spouses. Right. But I just think it's just helped me. Really, even though I thought the path was that a military installation that I was open enough and listened enough that there I could create my own path. And I think that's important to just realize that you can create your own path, whatever that path may be for you.

Rebecca Wiggins:

I just want to add, I think one of the characteristics that is so important that we didn't mention, but I'm hearing in both of you, in both of your stories is persistence. Because you know, you're, you're moving around a lot sometimes as you said, Jen, the opportunity that you want isn't available and you went and created a, both of you did that really. So I think that's something too, it's like, you have to have the passion and the commitment to the work, but also this persistence to forge your own path. And I wanna , I wanna actually kind of tie that into the idea of the network too, because I think one of the things that's so special about this program is the network of military spouses. I think thanks to FINRA, there has been a great support in bringing the group together and really fostering that. But can you speak a little bit to the value of the military spouse network and maybe how that has helped also to inform, you know, I think, especially for people thinking about applying to the program, to understand that they have this great network of support around them as they're going through and maybe in a difficult or sort of isolated experience , in their personal life. And so can, can you speak to that a little bit, maybe Shay you could kick us off with that.

Shay Cook:

Yeah, definitely. I mean, with FINRA foundation, AFCPE collaborating on this for so many years and then , and , and , and MFA as well in the past, but I , I really want to add to what you were saying too, with the persistence, the perseverance and the passion, you know, the three P's. I mean, that is truly helped me get through life, not just through this program, but the network , is amazing. I always say the military spouse fellowship network is going to take over the world. Right. We always feel that way. Cause we, when we get together, we get super powers and we have super powers without each other, but together it's just like, Oh my God, we're going to take over the world because it's so amazing. The energy, the love, the compassion, the support. I mean, when there's a resource , we're definitely out there sharing it and just to capitalize off of that or kind of just, you know, engage all of that and keep it going. We recently started a society for FINRA foundation fellows , and we're kind of, you know, putting it out into the universe now still where we have regional ambassadors. It's just really the engagement, you know, from over in Japan and, you know , over in the Pacific region, European region, Northeast, Southeast, and then we also have the Western region, just them all coming together and trying to find regionally the networks to define it at the regional level, because obviously there's going to be differences at each region. They've been so engaged and so just, you know , really supportive of each other. So that network is amazing and I just love all of them.

Jen Hemphill:

Yeah. And I think what I also love to , to just add on to what Shea said, I love that you, because in personal finance and in money, there's so many things to know and you can't be an expert on every area of finance. So that's my go to place. Like I am not interested in , in credit. I know enough about it, but when there's little details on, on credit reports or anything to help a client, that's my go-to place because there's, there's spouses in there that have, that are in the day-to-day with maybe a specific area of finance. So they know that inside and out, and I find that really beneficial with the network.

Rebecca Wiggins:

Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So what advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about applying to this and might feel overwhelmed, let's say by the experience hour , like where are they going to get their experience hours or, you know, thinking about this career path forward, what advice would you give? Jen, we'll start with you.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

You can go ahead Jen.

Jen Hemphill:

Sure, I would just say I was one that took the whole time because when we were, I started off, we were at McConnell Air Force Base, and then we PCS to , to New Jersey and the name escapes me is also starts with , with an M. But anyways, I took, it took me, I felt like forever. I was afraid I wasn't going to get done when we were at McConnell, the opportunities for the practicum hours, there weren't that many, or I didn't find any, but this was back in 2009 or so. And then when we moved, I had the opportunity to work at the readiness center and, and get my hours there. So I would say there's , don't worry about not being able to get the hours. The opportunities are more and more. I mean, I've seen, I'm like, wow, I wish I wish this was this way when I was doing this, I wouldn't worry too much about those hours. They , they will get done when you put your head down and focus and focus on what you're doing. It'll get down . No doubt.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

Yeah. And I would just add, you know, do it, I mean, do it today because even though it's rigorous, it takes time , dedication, sacrifice, and a lot more, it's worth it. And I mean, it definitely changed my life and I know that, you know, being a part of amazing community will change their life as well. But I agree with Jen, you know, it takes time , you know, I'm impatient . So I'm like always trying to get things done right away. Sometimes to my detriment, but , yeah, it , it takes time, but there's lots of ways and opportunities to get experience hours. And, you know, we , especially with the military spouse fellowship, we have the amazing Heather Baker who helps with, you know, figuring out, you know , different opportunities when it comes to experience hours. Yeah.

Rebecca Wiggins:

I would say there's so much support, you know, with, as you said, Heather, thanks for the shout out . Cause she does so much to support the spouses and the community, the military spouse network at large to, you know, and like you said, Jen, there's so many more opportunities today than thinking back to 2006 when we were starting out. It's really incredible to see that. I also just think, you know, there's a lot of people who in general, not just in the military community, but who are thinking about a career in personal finance or financial planning or something like that. And this is such a great opportunity to get connected, to find your people so to speak and then, you know, kind of figure it out as you go. You could always, you know, the AFC is such a stackable credential to the CFP and things like that. So it's, I think it's really important to think about finding your community, that support network. And then as you go and learn these skills, you'll start to kind of figure out what that pathway is for you.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

And I think a perfect segue into this is talking about mentors and mentorship. And I'd love to know for both of you, if you had a mentor along the way, and Shay , I don't know what's happening right now in terms of maybe placings military spouse, fellows together as mentors. So talk to us about your experience with mentors and what it means for someone else to get a mentor, to help them succeed in their own career.

Shay Cook:

Yeah. I specifically, because in 2007 we moved from or six (2006), you know , seven, seven (2007), we moved from Turkey. So we were PCS'ing as well and retiring. So I didn't specifically have a mentor for the AFC. I did have a mentor for, I also got the financial fitness coaching certification later on. So another great certification through AFCPE. So , I didn't have mentors , but I had a lot of mentors within the professional realm, you know, helping me with getting the jobs that I got and all the different things. So mentors are super amazing. I still have even some of my, you know, high senior officials like a retired Admiral that I love and adore. That was my mentor when I worked for the coast guard. She's my friend now. So I just believe mentors are just key to, especially professionally but personally growth. It's very important. And we do, you know, again, shout out to Heather Baker and she works with, you know, the spouse fellows to connect them with mentors as well. And we're doing a pilot for other ideas for the mentors, but there's definitely opportunities to connect you with a mentor that the military spouse or an AFC or FFC or whoever you need to , the opportunity is definitely there. And it's amazing.

Rebecca Wiggins:

Awesome. Okay. So let's discuss career opportunities because I think this is a big question, not just in the military community, but really for our field at large. But particularly, and you mentioned this, I think earlier on Jen, in terms of, you know, being the military spouses, having to relocate. So , so much more frequently than the civilian population and also what comes with that is often under employment or unemployment for military spouses. And so really, that's why we started this program to begin with. Can you talk a little bit, I'd love to hear , maybe two sides of this. One is what career opportunities do you see out in the field, if you can point people to some ideas of things that maybe aren't aren't glaringly obvious, and then , what are some ways that you would encourage people to leverage the value of the AFC? Because I still think that's part of how we sell the value of this to people who may not know what the AFC is yet. So , Jen, do you have ideas about career opportunities and how people can best , tell that story?

Jen Hemphill:

Sure, absolutely. We're living in a pandemic. So, with that being said, I think the opportunities have grown because we have learned that not, people weren't saving, right. We already knew that, but we have learned the impact, but I think the opportunities exist in the corporate world and coming in and speaking opportunities at schools, there's different programs like , in the higher ed schools called TRIO that have a specific financial literacy component. So that's grant money that goes to teach these kids , college and high school kids to financial literacy. I think those, and of course, there's just doing your, your own business is an opportunity. But I think when I think of opportunities, those come to mind immediately, especially with the pandemic, there is a need. And it's just about talking to people and seeing where the need is and how you can serve. And in terms of leveraging, I think having the AFC has definitely leveraged me in a way that, for example, for media, right, for , being featured in articles, that AFC has made me stand out, right. That , having those letters has definitely has made me stand out and has helped because they are, what are our reporters and journalists doing? They're wanting to find credible sources, right? And that those letters gives that credibility. Not that other people are not credible, but it just adds to the credibility. So I think that has given me really an edge on that. And in terms of when I am working with friends as well, then that has helped too. Because again, the credibility that not only do I value what I do, but I have have integrity in the sense that I commit myself and I learn , continue the learning, right. Continue the learning and with the AFC. We have a set of ethical standards. Right. And that definitely helps to.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

Shay, do you have any thoughts on that?

Shay Cook:

Yeah, I wanted to add, cause I know when I meet with a lot of military spouses or when I meet with Heather, you know, we hear about, you know, the spouses are always limiting themselves to the base of the installation when there's a whole world out there, right from financial institution , institutions, banks, credit unions, local nonprofits , community outreach organizations, creating your own business. And, you know, even when I was looking for opportunities and I had to get my experience and I volunteered at a homeless shelter, right . Volunteered, you know, at the army community service center, which is on the base, but there are so many other opportunities out there. So I just want people not, especially the military spouses, don't limit yourself to the base installation cause it's a big world out there and there's so many opportunities .

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

Well, I think both of you have a little bit alluded to this. Shay, you in particular, of the AFC was almost a beginning credential for you. And I think it's a great place for people to start in the financial industry. If you don't know anything about it, regardless of your background or your major in college or whatever, it's a great place to begin your career in the financial services sector, because it gives you a very broad brush of many different tools, many different skill types. Shay you had mentioned it actually kind of put you on the path to the FFC and other credentials along the way. And I think that's done it for many people. Shay , do you want to talk a little bit about that, of how it's helped you further your education?

Shay Cook:

Yeah, definitely. So, you know, like I said before , I had two degrees in psychology and I always wanted to do the mental health piece, which again, it goes really well. But when I look at the AFC recently, I met, met with a therapist and he was like, when I explained it to them, you know, and some therapists and even psychologists , they kind of feel frightened by the AFC too . Like when you said the counselor piece of it, wait a minute, what are you saying? You're a counselor. You have, you're not, you know, you don't have a license to be practicing. I'm like, okay, let me explain it to him . But when I explained it to him, he was like, Oh, you sound like you're behavior modification when it comes to personal. I'm like, yeah, that's pretty much what it is. But when I, when I was looking at the financial fitness coaching, I just liked the idea of more of not, you know , trying to change someone's behavior or tell them what to do, but really try to work with them as a coach and align their goals with their values and really be that help them be that accountability. So that was, you know , really attractive to me at the time because some people know what they need to do. They just need a coach. You know, they're not dealing with, from the financial counseling piece that might need , you know, mindset issues or the mismanagement or the money traumas that we deal with as financial counselors, they really know what they need to do. They just, I always say, it's like a diet, you know, they know they need to eat, right. They can't be eating all that cake. They need to exercise. So it's the same thing with coaching, you know, with financial coaching, I'm like, okay, you know, you shouldn't be spending all that money on all those, you know , different things that you are, Amazon. And the list goes on because in the pandemic there , my clients are suffering with spending issues. And so, you know, I coached them back on track. So yeah, that's a long way of saying it , you know, definitely the AFC led me to other avenues. I looked at the CFP too , but I knew that for me, the basics is what really was important. So I didn't pursue that, but I know a lot of people that have.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

Yeah, it's a good broad brush to begin. Jen, do you have any final thoughts as we wrap up here? Would you give any other advice?

Jen Hemphill:

To say that if you're looking into the AFC, I, I would think that you are driven by serving and if you're driven by serving others , this is a good fit for you. And what I really also would like to add is that the staff at AFCPE are just so amazing and helpful , and I haven't countered encountered any other organization that are as helpful and so personal, right. They just, they're not strangers. They're not strangers or just acquaintances. They're more than that. So they're out there to help you , as well. So if you're thinking about it again, a person that loves to serve , you do it and you know, you have a good one, network of military spouses and two, support from AFCPE staff.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson:

I think you've said the key word and that is support. You've got support before you even start. And that is wanting to be there throughout your process. Right? So know that even now, if you're just thinking about it or wondering what to do, and I know so many of us with last year and continuing into this year with the pandemic, we've had to rethink many parts of our lives, including our careers. Jen, I just think of you and how you thought, you know, you had certain things that you wanted to do, and you had certain values that you wanted to keep in your family and you made a path forward. The nice part is 10 years later, we've done a lot of that work for you. So all you need to do is come jump on if you're on the fence about it, or even wondering about it, and this it goes beyond just even military spouses, anybody that's thinking of this area, come get the credential. Learn about it, and then continue on in your path and your journey in your education. And really I'll start where we began. It's all about helping others. It's all about helping other people and making a difference in their lives. And it's through money. Like you said, Shay , we're not here to be therapists , but we're really here to help people with their money, with their personal finances and what a difference and impact that can make on individual's lives and what they do. And it's the value of the AFC that we bring to the table of really learning. The AFC will teach you what Jen told us at the beginning, to be a good listener. And that's really what impacts people's lives, because like you mentioned, Shay, they know what they need to do, but as they, you help them bring it out in themselves. As you help them formalize those words and formalize those behavior changes. That's where the rubber meets the road. That's where it really, the impact takes place. And that's what the AFC does is it allows you to get on that path. So we encourage any of you out there that are on the fence, or maybe thinking about it or have dabbled in it, jump in today, reach out to any of us with any questions we're here to help. Like Jen said, the AFCPE staff will answer any questions that you have. If you would like to get paired up with a mentor, reach out. If there's someone you want to connect with, reach out, we are to help. And There's no need to be on the fence any longer does jump in and we'll help there help you as you kind of learn and guide your path and join the networks and stay connected.

Rebecca Wiggins:

Yeah. I just want to add one quick thing to that. The application is open through April 19th and I know there's a link in the chat, so that would be a great first step is to go there. There's tons of information about how to apply. But one of the things you've said, just kind of struck me as well is that sometimes I think people are afraid to get into this field because they themselves don't feel like financial experts. And so I don't want that to be a barrier either. You will learn yourself through this program, it will help you, your family. And then of course that impact back to the military community. And so , don't let that be a barrier. This is actually a great opportunity for you to get more knowledgeable in your own personal finance and then share that passion and your own experience. I think that's one of the biggest things of our network is that most of our professionals have their own story that brought them to the field, that then they share that passion out. And so , don't feel like you have to be an expert or that finance even has to be on your radar. If you, like you said, Jen , you're, you have that service heart. You want to give back to the military community. Financial readiness is a huge, huge component of that. So , definitely check out the link if you have questions, let us know. And as I said, the application is open through April 19th. So we have about a month left and feel free to share it with others as well. Jen and Shay, thanks so much for joining today and sharing your journeys with us. It's been great just to be able to talk about it. And I know this program is so near and dear to my heart through the years, it's been great to see it grow. We are so thankful to , FINRA for the partnership and the support that really helps make it happen. So thank you, Shay, on behalf of , your team foundation. Yeah. So thank you both for joining today and we hope that you'll reach out if you have any questions and apply before the 19th of April. Thanks so much.

Outro:

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