Building Capacity for Financial Security in Underserved Communities

WESTERVILLE, Ohio, Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education® (AFCPE®) recently awarded Strategic Impact Fund certification and training scholarships to 11 nonprofit organizations. Additionally, with the support of the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®), 100 AFC® certification scholarships were awarded to people of color, and JPMorgan Chase Co. generously provided funding to support the training and credentialing for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“AFCPE is committed to ensuring that all people have access to high-quality, equitable financial education—regardless of income or background,” said Rebecca Wiggins, AFCPE Executive Director. “By providing access to the highest standards in financial counseling, coaching, and education, we are equipping organizations and professionals with the knowledge and skills to build the confidence and capacity they need to better serve their communities.”

$100,000 in Group Capacity Building Scholarships
The organizations selected to receive funding will focus on providing certification and training to their staff in 2021, including money management, financial inclusion, college finance and the Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) credential. Funds are intended to build capacity within community-based financial and/or social service organizations that serve low to moderate income populations.

The organizations, which serve a wide range of demographics including low income and low wealth communities, military communities, survivors of domestic violence, and student financial ambassadors serving HBCUs, were able to request a combination of certification and training programs to best serve their organization and staff – bridging knowledge gaps and building confidence and capacity.

“The AFC certification will help us build a better and higher skill level for our coaches, produce more consistency, elevate the experience our clients are having, and increase our impact,” said Courtenay Strickland, Catalyst Miami.

“Standardizing the delivery of our services with this nationally recognized certification will help us strengthen our efforts to provide high quality financial services for a better financial future regardless of one’s financial situation or means,” Mario Gutierrez, NYLAG (New York Legal Assistance Group).

100 AFC® Certification Scholarships for People of Color
With generous funding from NEFE, 100 people of color have the opportunity to pursue the AFC certification. Scholarships cover books and materials, and provide guided support from cohort groups led by experienced AFC professionals.

“Economic inequality contributes to social inequality. It’s important that our field acknowledge that and work together to build change in underserved communities and support people in need for the long haul,” said Billy Hensley, Ph.D., president and CEO of NEFE. “We are honored to partner with AFCPE to take important steps to closing systemic gaps and create more equitable opportunities.”

“This opportunity will support me in my ability to offer services that address the financial literacy needs within my community, people of African ancestry, and beyond,” Nakia Haskins, AFC scholarship recipient.

Training & Credentialling Scholarships to Individuals who are Deaf & Hard of Hearing
JPMorgan Chase & Co. generously provided funding to support the training and credentialing for 12 individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. This includes four scholarships for the AFC® and six for Money Management Essentials. This funding is part of a larger grant supporting important work around diversity, equity, and inclusion, including new Essentials programming and organizational equity training.

“At JPMorgan Chase, we strongly believe there is a pressing need to help more people move up the economic ladder,” said Jim Sinocchi, head of the Office of Disability Inclusion. “To drive equity and inclusivity, it’s important for this training and credentialing to be accessible to all, including people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Individuals from this community are being hired at top companies like ours because they have the skills to perform and succeed – and providing critical financial health guidance and support is key to helping them bridge the wealth divide. We are confident this effort will further professional financial counseling and coaching services for the deaf and hard of hearing community.”    

About AFCPE:
AFCPE is committed to meeting our professionals, their clients, and our partners where they are. AFCPE certification and training programs are designed to help our professionals better understand how diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences impact their clients’ money behaviors, giving them the tools to provide holistic financial guidance. We are deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and believe in a future where all people — regardless of income or background — are empowered to achieve lasting financial well-being through the highest standards of financial counseling, coaching and education.

To learn how you can support scholarship and funding efforts, become a part of the AFCPE community, or pursue AFCPE’s nationally recognized certification and training programs, visit

Media Contact:
Rachael DeLeon


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