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​FPA awarding two Diversity Scholarships to attend the 2015 FPA Annual Conference in Boston


DENVER - The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) announced the recipients of the Diversity Scholarship, which recognize professionals who are working to encourage diversity in the financial planning profession and the population served. The merit-based scholarship recipients earn one-year FPA membership and complimentary registration and travel expenses to the FPA Annual Conference – BE Boston 2015 being held Sept. 26-28.

"FPA has a long-standing commitment to not only increase awareness of financial planning as a career option among people of diverse backgrounds, but to make all consumers aware of how financial planning can help anyone – no matter who they are – by engaging the media and working with our network of 93 chapters," said FPA executive director and CEO Lauren M. Schadle, CAE. "The recipients of the Diversity Scholarships this year are doing admirable work in not only representing the new face of financial planning, but their efforts in making diverse communities aware of the importance of financial planning. We look forward to recognizing their accomplishments in Boston."

The FPA Annual Conference – BE Boston 2015 Diversity Scholarship recipients are:

  • Danqin (Kristin) Fang – Fang was born in China and came to the United States to pursue a career in financial planning. After graduating with a degree in Financial Management from Shanghai University, Fang came to Lubbock, Texas, to pursue her "American Dream" of becoming a financial planner. Since arriving in the U.S., she obtained a master's degree in Personal Finance from Texas Tech University, earned the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) certification and has been working towards her CFA designation as a Level III candidate. She also worked in various financial roles throughout the country and is actively involved in her community. Her perspective on diversity within the profession is that while Americans share commonalities, we all have unique cultures and needs. "Custom needs should be met in order to deliver excellent client services," said Fang. "To have a diversified group of advisers is also the key to advance the profession efficiently."

  • Pamela Peña Serrano – Peña is an immigrant from Colombia, who came to the U.S. with her widowed mother and younger sister. Peña worked in commercial law and real estate before receiving a bachelor's degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from Florida International University. Before graduating, she was recruited to Carson Wealth Management in Omaha, Neb., as an associate Wealth Advisor. As the first Hispanic at her firm she has made it her mission to open doors for students, women and minorities. "As financial planners we must be ahead of the curve, be innovators, trendsetters, and 'includers', all while maintaining reliability, integrity and trust," she said. "I am here to show people the word 'wealth' doesn't have to mean something unattainable. It is tangible, achievable and available to all no matter what your zip code, skin color, or native language is as long as you follow the financial planning principles."

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.​