For Lindsey Coe ’21, receiving the prestigious Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation Challenge Match Scholarship isn’t the end of a process, but a springboard to do even more. A Financial Services major in the Certified Financial Planning track, her goal isn’t just a rewarding career in the field she loves – she wants to do good as well.
“I want to use what I’m learning about financial planning to help others,” says Coe, the co-founder of Bryant’s Financial Planning Association Student Community. The scholarship, she says, will help her help others to secure their finances and safeguard their futures.
The Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation Challenge Match Scholarship, awarded every year, seeks to further and diversify the financial planning field by providing financial assistance to individuals from underrepresented populations seeking to complete the requirements for CFP® certification. Applicants are evaluated on academic and professional achievements as well as their passion for the field.
“At first I was kind of in disbelief because I know there were so many other incredible applicants. But then it began to sink in and I was overjoyed. I called my parents right away and they were so happy.”
Mara L. Derderian '93, CFP, a Finance department lecturer and the Financial Planning Program Director, brought the scholarship to Coe’s attention, and notes that Coe is an ideal recipient. “Lindsey is an extremely self-motivated, extremely curious young professional who is eager to learn, eager to develop, and eager to gain new experiences,” she says. “Although she’s still a junior, she exhibits a poise, professionalism, and maturity that sets her apart.”
Coe says receiving the scholarship was humbling. “At first I was kind of in disbelief because I know there were so many other incredible applicants,” she remembers. “But then it began to sink in and I was overjoyed. I called my parents right away and they were so happy.”
The path to Bryant
Coe came to Bryant knowing she wanted to pursue a career in the finance industry, but was unsure what path to take. As a first-year student, she joined Bryant’s Smart Women in Finance group, where she was paired with a senior who introduced her to the myriad options available in finance as well as the various academic tracks she could take. Her professors, including Derderian, aided her in finding and exploring opportunities related to financial planning.
"I’m excited thinking about helping people understand their goals and creating a plan with them to secure their lives and generate wealth.”
“One of the reasons I love what I do is because, at Bryant, I have an opportunity to get to know the students,” Derderian says. “Because the classes are on the smaller side, it creates a small group of students that I personally know, from sophomore year on. Our close-knit community allows me to understand them, what their ultimate career path is, what their personal goals are, and what motivates them.”
Coe quickly grew to love financial planning. “I developed an appreciation for financial literacy and decided I want to help others understand how to make good financial decisions,” Coe noted in her scholarship application. “I’m excited thinking about helping people understand their goals and creating a plan with them to secure their lives and generate wealth.”
“It’s not only important to simply create opportunities for women within the industry, it’s important that they have a chance to share their knowledge and perspectives as well.”
Giving back to the community
Inspired by her mentors and her professors, Coe has made it a mission to return the favor. Through the Financial Planning Association Student Community, she helps plan and host discussions with area professionals on financial literacy topics as well as other networking and educational events. A mentor with Bryant’s MyPATH (Make Your Talent and Passion Happen) program, Coe guides first-year students through major and career decisions.
As a member of Smart Women in Finance, increasing the number of women in the financial service field is important to her. “It’s not only important to simply create opportunities for women within the industry, it’s important that they have a chance to share their knowledge and perspectives as well,” says Coe, who notes those diverse perspectives will generate more ideas and better outcomes.
“I hope to have a positive impact on the financial services industry, as well as the community.”
Her efforts to use her knowledge in service to others includes volunteering at the Financial Planning Association of Rhode Island’s Pro Bono Days. There, she works with financial planners providing advice to community members on a variety of topics. “Initially, I really wanted to just gain as much exposure as I could to the financial planning industry,” says Coe. “But then I began to see how much those events really help people. I wanted to continue being a part of it, and give back as much as I can.”
She plans to continue aiding others. “After I graduate I want to use my knowledge to help teach students about financial literacy,” says Coe. “Every student, no matter what they’re studying, needs to understand their finances when they go to college and become a working adult.”
The scholarship, she says, will help her continue to make a difference. “I hope to have a positive impact on the financial services industry, as well as the community.”