FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellow Profiles
"The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program has enriched my life and it's allowed me to help others and myself. It's invaluable."
Kathy Hobbs' husband sent her an email a few years ago, jokingly suggesting she apply for the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program. With a career in civil engineering behind her, applying for the fellowship might have seemed an unlikely decision. But Kathy took the challenge, applied, was accepted and ultimately earned her financial counseling accreditation in September 2008.
"I was looking for a way to re-enter the workforce," said Kathy, who earlier in life earned a degree in cartography from East Central University and stayed at home with her children for nine years. "The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program piqued my interest, and I thought it was something I could do. And today, I really feel like I've found my niche."
Thanks to the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program, Kathy also developed a set of portable job skills that she could take with her on the move. Kathy, her husband, LTC Edward Lee Hobbs, and sons Trey, 16, and Jacob, 12, are currently stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico. It's their 9th duty station! "No matter where you go, you can pick up and start where you left off," Kathy said. "The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program has enriched my life and it's allowed me to help others and myself. It's invaluable."
A native of Shawnee, Oklahoma, and an Army spouse of 19 years, Kathy is a Personal Financial Counselor with Zeiders Enterprises and their Military Family Life Consultant Program. "Working with servicemembers of the New Mexico National Guard and Air Guard has been incredibly rewarding. Helping someone clean up their credit to achieve a security clearance or develop a plan to pay off debt makes what we do feel worthwhile."
Before this, Kathy was a financial readiness volunteer assistant at Fort Monroe Army Community Service in Hampton, Virginia, where she offered financial counseling, training and education to military servicemembers and their families. She received the "Volunteer of the Year" designation in 2008 at Fort Monroe for the more than 1,000 hours she spent working toward her certification for the fellowship.
Kathy plans to stay involved in the financial counseling field and will continue to give back to the military community. The lessons of the fellowship will continue to resonate, she said. "The fellowship has made me more aware of my family's financial decisions, and I can make more informed decisions now."