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Recipients recognized for promoting diversity in financial planning

DENVER - The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) announced its 2013 Diversity Scholarship recipients, recognizing professionals who are working to encourage diversity in the financial planning profession. The merit-based scholarship recipients earn one-year FPA membership and complimentary registration and travel expenses to FPA Experience 2013 being held in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 19-21.

  • “FPA is the organization for Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®) professionals of all personal and professional backgrounds,” said Lauren Schadle, CAE, FPA executive director and CEO. “FPA seeks to raise awareness and promote an environment that embraces a diverse community of professionals. We are pleased to recognize these scholarship recipients for their shared commitment in fostering diversity in their communities and the financial planning profession.”
    The FPA Experience 2013 Diversity Scholarship recipients are:
    Melanie Mendiola – Melanie is a Retirement Plan Counselor with Great West Financial in Maite, Guam, and a Ph.D. candidate in the Personal Financial Planning Program at Kansas State University. In her scholarship application she stated, “It is my goal to create a customized experience within my practice that offers practical advice to individuals to achieve their goals, celebrating their differences rather than in spite of their differences.
  • Guanlong (Peter) Wang – Peter, of Philadelphia, Pa., holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Drexel University and is active in the Philadelphia Tri-State Chapter of FPA and is active in promoting financial literacy in FPA and AARP. In his scholarship application he stated, “The inherent beauty of the financial planning profession is that it is applicable to all people and transcends cultural, industry and wealth boundaries.”
  • Xiao (Cecilia) Zhong – Cecilia is an Associate with Blue Ocean Global Wealth in Washington, D.C., Secretary of Blue Ocean Economic Empowerment Fund, and a level II candidate in the Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) program. In her scholarship application she stated, “The importance of incorporating diversity as a more prominent component of our industry’s national and regional strategic priorities is a critical precursor to the advancement of our profession.”

The scholarship is awarded to financial services students and professionals who demonstrate and act upon an intense desire to promote diversity in the financial planning profession. Criteria for applicants includes:

  • Raising awareness of the profession in diverse communities;

  • Serving diverse communities with financial planning; and

  • Increasing professional opportunities for diverse communities within the financial planning profession.

The Diversity Scholarship Program is sponsored by the FPA Diversity Committee. The Committee’s mission is to develop strategies to raise awareness and promote inclusiveness of diverse communities including but not limited to: age, race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation in the financial planning profession. FPA strives to increase professional opportunities for the widest spectrum of people so that all may join and thrive in the financial planning profession.