Scholarship Recipient Highlight of The Month
Since 1927, The American College of Financial Services has helped financial services professionals realize their career goals through rigorous and practical education.
Because of generous donations and partnerships, The Center for Military and Veterans Affairs plans to award 400 scholarships to active military, guard, reservists, veterans, and their spouses in 2022. To further honor these scholars, a review committee has selected outstanding scholarship recipients to highlight each month in our brand-new Center SITREP, the Center's monthly communication to its various supporters, scholars, faculty and staff. To receive the Center SITREP, please sign up for our newsletter here.
It is our honor to recognize and highlight the 2022 Center for Military and Veterans Affairs Scholarship Recipients of the Month:
Meet Patrick Larkin, CLU®, ChFC®
August Center SITREP Scholarship Recipient and Highlight
Financial Advisor, Financial Educator, and Life-Long Learner
“It has been a wonderful opportunity to continue a career in service to help people with their financial goals in various stages of their lives. To quote a previous Navy instructor “watch out for those that read, they will beat you every time.”’ - Patrick Larkin, CLU®, ChFC® 2022
Patrick Larkin joined the Navy in the summer of 2000 and embodied the Navy’s message of “Let the Journey Begin.” In the twenty years he served in the Navy he lived and worked in fifty countries, all fifty states, enjoyed the opportunity to live abroad in Japan, Bahrain, and Kuwait, and earned two master’s degrees. While in the Navy, he specialized in Surface Warfare as a sea going mariner aboard combat ships and later transitioned to military diplomacy as a Foreign Area Officer.
In 2020, Patrick resettled in Iowa, in his wife’s hometown along the Mississippi river. There, he accepted a position as a Financial Advisor with Bettendorf Financial Group in Bettendorf, Iowa. On the advice of his Registered Principal (an American College alumni) to help transition from military engagements to financial engagements, it was suggested he complete a training program offered by The American College of Financial Services. In addition to completing the battery of licensing exams, he completed the Chartered Financial Consultant ChFC® program and earned a 2nd scholarship to complete the Chartered Life Underwriter CLU® program. Patrick credits the Center for Military and Veterans Affairs 1st and 2nd scholarships for making this possible.
Patrick is most grateful to The American College for the scholarships and their assistance in providing him skills to transition from the military to the private sector. He is enjoying the new job and his firm’s commitment to service.
Meet Vanessa Alanis
July Center SITREP Scholarship Recipient and Highlight
Military Spouse, Financial Educator, and Business Owner
"The American College Center for Military and Veterans Affairs goes above and beyond in providing service members and their spouses with the tools and resources they need to be successful on their financial certification(s) journey." - Vanessa Alanis, 2022
Vanessa Alanis is a military spouse, educator and business owner focused on helping people improve their lives and achieve their dreams through financial management. She has committed herself to serving those who serve by providing financial education and counseling to members of the US Armed Forces around the world. With 14 years of experience, Vanessa specializes in helping clients identify, plan for, and achieve their goals. She does this by assisting clients in developing better money management habits, clarifying their goals, and identifying and mitigating potential obstacles.
Mrs. Alanis earned her bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina and has continued her education through generous opportunities provided by the AFCPE and American College of Financial Services. Vanessa is an Accredited Financial Counselor®, Chartered Financial Consultant®, and Certified Financial Planner®. Motivated to “be a little better every day” Vanessa continues to learn more about the financial industry so she can provide value and comprehensive services to those with which she works. She is married to a US Marine and has two sons, a daughter, and a dog.
Meet Roxanne Desouza
June Center SITREP Scholarship Recipient and Highlight
Military Spouse, Aspiring Financial Advisor, and Career Changer
"I am so grateful to receive a scholarship from the Center for Military and Veterans Affairs to complete my CFP courses at the American College of Financial Services and have thoroughly enjoyed the coursework so far." - Roxanne Desouza, 2022
In her own words: "I am a career changer and aspiring financial planner. I have a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Truman State University and a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from University of Southern California. My first job after undergraduate work was in a commercial insurance brokerage but it lacked the relational aspect. While occupational therapy allowed me to collaborate with people on their rehabilitation journey, I felt stifled by insurance requirements for therapy treatment. That coupled with frequent moves as a military spouse to rural duty stations really hindered my ability to find suitable roles that I could grow and move with.
Despite my educational background, I did not find out about a career in personal finance until recently. As an immigrant that came to pursue education in the United States, I knew nothing about credit scores, taxes, and retirement plans (401K and Roth IRA’s). I have learned so much through listening to podcasts, and it is also where I discovered financial planning. Financial Planning combines my desire for analytical and strategic work, problem-solving along with the desire to build meaningful long-term relationships with people. It felt like the right fit and takes advantage of my previous skill sets and educational training.
I currently work part-time remotely at Seawise Financial, a boutique RIA in San Diego CA, in a client services role where I am learning the practical applications of being a CFP. I live on Camp Pendleton with my active-duty Marine husband and two young, active boys that keep me on my toes and my sweet furry canine. I enjoy being outdoors, a good book and a cup of tea, thinking and discussing big ideas, beautiful data stories and engaging communities."
Meet Beverly D. Johnson, MBA, MS
May Center SITREP Scholarship Recipient and Highlight
Financial Adviser, Educator & Business Owner
"My military experience has helped define who I am today. However, the value system my mother engrained in me as a child has played the most significant role in my life. I can honestly say that throughout my life I have harnessed my West Point class motto 'Courage Never Quits,' to achieve my goals." - Bevery D. Johnson, MBA, MS, 2022
Beverly D. Johnson is a managing partner and financial adviser focused on wealth management and comprehensive financial planning. She is originally from Illinois and served over sixteen years (active and reserve) as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in Germany, Hawaii, and Ft. Belvoir, VA, and Ft. Leonard Woods, Mo.
She holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy, where she was one of the first women to graduate from the accredited program, an M.S. in Engineering Management from Missouri University of Science and Technology, an Executive MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, and an M.S. degree in Personal Financial Planning, as well as a certification in Charitable Planning from Texas Tech University.
She also serves as a Congressional Military Liaison where she helps lead, motivate, inspire, and guide high school youth interested in attending the U.S. Military Academy, and as an Advisor and Board Member to The Dickey Foundation, focused on serving first responders. She is a current student and recent scholarship recipient for The American College of Financial Services.