For Beth Rebholz, AmeriCorps has provided the ultimate pathway for her to forge a successful career in financial planning. Her interest in finance, combined with her deep-seated roots in service, led her to join as an AmeriCorps member, serve as an AmeriCorps Program Director, and eventually find her dream job! Beth got her early belief in the power of service through her mother, who served as a Hospice volunteer for most of her life and also volunteered at their family’s church. Her mother’s example of community service made the decision to join AmeriCorps a natural fit.
Beth also says that the AmeriCorps’ Education Award was a huge factor in her deciding to serve in National Service. “I knew the Ed Award would allow me to achieve my goal to become an accredited financial counselor,” she says. Beth served as an AmeriCorps member for three years with Virginia Veterans Corps at the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society at Little Creek where she helped provide financial education and assistance to Active Duty Navy and Marines, their dependents, and retirees of those branches.
She recalls that this experience proved to be invaluable as she worked one on one with clients to complete a budget, give suggestions on how to make their budget more viable, made verification calls, and gave them financial assistance, if necessary, to help them with their immediate financial issue. “My most memorable experience as a member was assisting an Active Duty family with funeral expenses for their stillborn child. While the military would pay out the life insurance, it would take a while. I was able to assist immediately. I was humbled to be able to help them put their baby to rest.”
Beth explains that there were personal benefits as well. “I learned to be comfortable outside my comfort zone. That I am capable of anything I put my mind to; I had forgotten that.” She adds, “I learned new people skills, new job skills, met new people, found new resources I can share with others. The list could go on. I grew more in three years as an AmeriCorps Member than I did in four years of college!”
As her service year drew to a close, Beth took her love of financial planning and her belief in the power of Virginia Veterans Corps and the Virginia Veteran and Family Support program to the next level. She went from being a member to being the Program Director of that same program. Beth says that being a member of the program was hugely beneficial to her. “It allowed me to see both sides of the program and gave me knowledge of the member’s experience, helping me shape their service year so that they could get the most of their Service,” she says. Celebrating the end of the service year with her members was always especially rewarding. “I had some members who struggled with getting their hours early in the year and to see them push to finish made me proud. I learned so much from each of them. They all brought something different to the table and seeing them all work together was inspiring!”
Her AmeriCorps path as now led Beth to continue to pursue a career in financial management. She has just accepted a new role as Personal Financial Management Educator at Fleet and Family Support Center in Norfolk. “My AmeriCorps path solidified what I love to do – teach people about money! It also gave me the skills necessary to get a job doing just that. “