Meet the 2021 RIA Talent Advantage

 Scholarship Winners!


Schwab Advisor Services™ and Charles Schwab Foundation have created the RIA Talent Advantage Student Scholarship to help remove financial barriers, advocate for diversity, and open doors for future talent within the independent RIA industry.

The RIA Talent Advantage Student Scholarship program has awarded 12 $10,000 scholarships to undergraduate students seeking a major or minor in financial planning and, ultimately, a career in the RIA profession. At least six of the 12 scholarships have been, and will continue to be awarded, to underrepresented and diverse recipients.

These scholarship winners represent the future of our industry, and we are excited for you to get to know them. Meet our 2021 RIA Talent Advantage Scholarship winners!


Benjamin Alderson, Temple University, Class of 2022

“Recent studies have taught us that diverse teams helped advisors better understand and act in the best interest of their clients. Being Asian-American, I certainly recognize that I bring to the table a set of experiences and skills that are impactful and may question the status quo to ensure the client is being best served. In the industry, this diversity is invaluable. Advisors with diverse teams are being able to serve their clients better than ever before because of their widespread talents.”


Jillian Beck, Ball State University, Class of 2024

“As an RIA, I would put the client’s interest over my own. Listening to their wants and needs would allow me to not only build a relationship of trust with my clients, but also aid in building a financial plan that is wise for their stage in life. When I look back on my life, I want to be able to say that I helped others pursue their dreams, and this career would give me the platform to serve that mission every day.”


Ansleigh Brister, Texas Tech University, Class of 2022

“I want to be an independent Registered Investment Advisor to simply help people. This career would allow me to give people the essential tools necessary to live a life without financial worry, and that freedom, the freedom to retire with ease, to give a child a debt-free college education, to donate funds to a charity, or to simply go on a well-deserved vacation, is unrivaled. I want to be an RIA to help and guide my clients to becoming financially free.”


Elijah Dorf, Bentley University, Class of 2022

“By far, the most rewarding aspect of working as an RIA would be seeing your clients succeed and accomplish their financial goals. If I could help even one person each month by running a financial checkup or recommending new investment positions free of cost to them, I would know I am making a significant impact in someone’s life. A current lack of money or education should not prevent somebody from getting on the right track. As an aspiring CFP and RIA, I hope to ensure that everybody gets the chance to achieve their financial goals and lead financially healthier lives.”


Sarah George, University of Arizona, Class of 2022

“From a social and cultural perspective, diversity among advisors enables and motivates marginalized communities to engage with an industry that has historically separated itself from the people it was meant to serve. It is therefore the mission of an independent RIA to promote open financial conversation and share their knowledge with others. In my future career as an independent RIA, I will break down the social barriers that have stunted the industry and held investors back from financial freedom. I am part of a new generation of financial planners, one that will forego uniformity and convention in favor of diversity and accessibility.”


Tiffany Gray, Delaware State University, Class of 2023

“The more I learn about the financial industry, the more I know that it is calling me as a young black woman to begin my path as an independent Registered Investment Advisor. There is a large disparity between generational wealth and investing for white families and black families, (or other families of color), in America. There is also not enough representation for minorities in positions of advising. This makes it imperative that we get minorities into the financial industry so they can become advisors. It is also important that there are young advisors as well. Many young people know little to nothing about financial planning or investing. They think it is something only older people do, and unnecessary until you are middle-aged. Younger RIAs like myself could have a better impact on educating young people.”


Elya John, Ohio State University, Class of 2022

“Some of the most impactful leaders I have met through college and internships have been women. They bring diverse perspectives to this industry that will help shape the future of financial planning. I would be honored to follow the brilliant women in this industry and bring my own unique experiences to the table. I hope my passion for financial planning will be able to better the lives of clients and empower women following similar paths.”


Linda Olvera, University of Georgia, Class of 2021

“I hope to contribute more to the RIA industry by inspiring more women and Hispanics to take part in the financial planning industry. My family needed someone like me to help them figure out their finances, but there was no one to turn to because there was not a financial planner who could help them in Spanish. As a Latina and bilingual student, I can work with Spanish- and English-speaking clients. I aspire to face this and much more in this profession. Diversity is so important! We need more financial planners with different kinds of backgrounds and skills so that we may be able to understand and help more individuals with their finances.”


Arianna Pannarale, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Class of 2023

“Encouraging diversity in this field is critical because clients seeking financial advice come from different backgrounds. Finances can be a taboo topic for people with unique cultural values. Everyone has different ideas about money, so it is important to listen and understand others’ beliefs. I desire to assist my clients in planning for their personal future financial objectives by establishing trust with them. By advocating for diversity and inclusion, I would work to gain client trust, opening up opportunities for advisors to assist more communities in growing their wealth. Therefore, diversity is necessary to further strengthen the financial planning profession by meeting the growing consumer demand for financial advice from advisors they trust.”


Jessica Roat, Biola University, Class of 2022

“When people like myself observe Latino/a men and women who are financial planners, we feel inspired, heard, and understood. Diversity is essential to the profession because having a diverse background allows for a variety of perspectives to be realized and enables a greater capacity to understand and build relationships with clients who are a part of minority groups. As an Ecuadorian woman, I aspire to be a Registered Investment Advisor so that I can provide a greater sense of inclusivity that the younger generations in the United States and Ecuador desire to see. I feel a deep responsibility to lead by example and inspire others to pursue careers in industries that may not have as much minority representation as they would hope for.”


Anthony Rodriguez, University of Georgia, Class of 2023

“I want a career as an independent Registered Investment Advisor for several reasons. My main goal is to be a fiduciary for future clients to help them reach their financial and life goals. By becoming an independent RIA, I can dedicate myself to serving my clients without any ulterior motives, and I can give clients the peace of mind that they are being treated like unique individuals with particular circumstances, not like a number on a spreadsheet or a monthly goal to meet.”


Natalia Rybak, William Paterson University of New Jersey, Class of 2023

“Having a diverse workplace can teach a person how to approach an unfamiliar situation by learning through their coworkers. The idea of using my own unique experiences and viewpoint to one day work with underprivileged clients and help them achieve their financial goals is what drives me to broaden my fiduciary horizons every day.”


The above mentioned firms and their employees are not affiliated with or employees of Schwab unless otherwise noted.

Program administered by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS), a separate company not affiliated with The Charles Schwab Corporation and affiliates. Charles Schwab & Co. and ISTS are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other’s policies or services.

Schwab Advisor Services™ serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading, and support of Schwab.

Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affiliated with, or supervised by Schwab.