“I have received so much value in the form of networking, community and education from my involvement at the various levels of FPA. I have met people who I value not only as great thinkers, but also as great friends.”
When I was a student at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), a student leader came to my financial planning class and said they were holding a meeting. Most importantly, they were going to have free pizza. That free pizza led to me helping start an FPA student chapter at VCU and becoming the chapter president my senior year.
As a student member, I was able to participate in FPA’s Financial Planning Challenge, attend two annual conferences and secure an internship, which led to the full-time job I’m still in today.
I have received so much value in the form of networking, community and education from my involvement at the various levels of FPA. I have met people who I value not only as great thinkers, but also as great friends, and I know I will continue to receive this experience—or better—as our organization continues to advance in the future.
Most importantly, FPA has given me access to resources and opportunities to advocate for legislation to protect vulnerable adults and provide pro bono financial planning opportunities in the Richmond community.
I view the value in giving back through financial planning similar to other crafts or trades, whether it is an attorney providing pro bono work on a legal case or a plumber providing pro bono work for a Habitat for Humanity home. It can be easy to forget that, working in the financial planning profession, you know more information about finances than the average person and that your knowledge is a great resource that can be shared with everybody. We have the opportunity to provide essential building blocks for something I think is second in importance behind your health, which is your financial health. As someone who gives back through financial planning, I have been exposed to new and different experiences and that has truly touched me and helped me grow.
It is very important to me to carry the torch of those who came before me and continue to lay the foundation for future members of our profession to garner an even better experience than what I have received with my involvement in FPA. My CFP® program director at VCU, my boss and my mentors have all given back to me in the form of being a resource, creating connections, and providing me with opportunities to learn and advance my own career. I am committed to trying to provide those same avenues for people I know now and those I will meet in the future.