Jordan Parks named a Schwab Scholar in Financial Planning


Jordan Parks is a Temple University senior and a Charles Schwab Foundation Scholar in Financial Planning who has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship, along with voluntary mentorship and professional development opportunities, as part of the Foundation’s $3.5 million endowed scholarship program. The program provides financial assistance and career opportunities to students from underrepresented communities. We sat down with Jordan to talk about his drive toward a career in financial planning and to hear his perspective on advancing diversity across the industry.  

What inspires you toward a career in financial planning? 

Growing up, my parents always emphasized the importance of taking care of money, teaching me to save and avoid spending on things that won’t carry value. This taught me to be thoughtful about my money but only up to a point – the lessons never went beyond saving. I know now that making good investments that grow your money plays a huge role in financial success. I wish I had learned more about this at a younger age, so I plan to teach these things to younger generations. I really enjoy helping people and, after I took a few business classes in college I knew I wanted to work in the area of finance because it will give me the opportunity to establish personal relationships with clients. 

People of color are underrepresented in the financial planning industry. This scholarship program aims to diversify the field so there is greater representation. What are your thoughts on this?  

In my experience, people feel most comfortable interacting with others they can relate to; people who look like them, have similar experiences, or shared interests. Financial planning is such a personal and sometimes emotional activity, you want to feel confident that the person helping to manage your assets understands you. So it’s important to have diversity in the field – financial planners from many different backgrounds. I also think that with more diversity in the field, more people will become interested in having a financial plan, which will be a win for everyone. 

What benefits of the scholarship program are you looking forward to the most? 

I was invited to attend Schwab IMPACT, the industry’s premier event for registered investment advisors, which was very exciting because I was able to connect with people working in the field and hear from the speakers. I’m also excited about my interview for the Schwab Financial Consultant Academy, which would help me gain real-world experience in the field, prepare me for licensing certifications, and move me into a financial consultant role.    

What advice would you give underrepresented students who are undecided but considering a financial planning major? 

I would tell them that financial planning is a very rewarding career path for someone who likes to help other people – and we need more diversity in the field! In my experience, everyone in my financial planning program has been extremely helpful in teaching me and I am so happy that I chose it as a major.   

The Charles Schwab Foundation Scholars in Financial Planning program  is one of the Board-approved diversity and inclusion efforts announced by the Schwab Executive Council last year. This endowment complements other scholarship programs for underrepresented communities, funded through Charles Schwab Foundation, including: 

  • A $500,000 contribution to fund scholarships at three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Bethune-Cookman University, North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University, and Prairie View A&M University. 

  • The RIA Talent Advantage Scholarship Program through Schwab Advisor Services, which aims to raise awareness of the independent investment advisory profession and provides $10,000 scholarships to twelve students, reserving half for students from underrepresented groups. 

More information about Schwab’s commitment to diversity is available on the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion website

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