Master Financial Education Volunteer Program

The Master Financial Education Volunteer program focuses on helping families build their financial capacity through classes on topics such as managing money, planning for home ownership, getting out of debit, retirement planning, and preventing identity theft. The program also provides one-on-one mentoring.

Master Financial Education Volunteers receive a minimum of 20 hours of classroom instruction and, in return, commit to contribute an additional 40 hours of service in the 12 months following the training.

Volunteer educators partner with local Extension Agents to provide individual counseling sessions; assist at Reality Store, Kids Marketplace, and poverty simulations; teach money management workshops to youth; and lead adult financial management classes.

Steps to Becoming a Master Financial Education Volunteer

Training to become a Master Financial Educator Volunteer consists of a minimum of 20 hours of classroom instruction on financial management. It may occur over several weeks, for example in seven three-hour sessions. Topics covered in the training sessions include:

  • Value clarification
  • Goal setting
  • Couple communication
  • Spending plan development
  • Cash flow management
  • Credit use and debt management
  • Major purchases - buying/leasing a car and buying a house
  • Mortgages
  • Risk management
  • Savings basics
  • Investment basics
  • Cost of raising a child
  • Interview techniques

Volunteers are made aware of the availability of other community resources. For some volunteers, the information presented in parts of the training will be information that is well known to them and it should be considered as a refresher. It is important that we be able to document that all of our volunteers have been trained in the appropriate subject matter.

Volunteers will be given the opportunity to practice their new skills during training so that they become adept at helping people create a plan of action by educating them about their choices.

To educate clients on how to create a plan of action, you help the client:

  • Identify and clarify financial needs, desires, and goals
  • Analyze their financial situation
  • Evaluate available current and future resources
  • Develop a course of action

Upon completion of this training, volunteers have one year to give back the 40 hours of volunteer service. Failure to complete this obligation means that the individual does not receive the title of Master Financial Education Volunteer. When a person ceases active volunteering with Extension he or she also relinquishes the title of Master Financial Education Volunteer.

A list of volunteer possibilities:

  • Reality Store
  • Kids’ Marketplace
  • Poverty Simulations
  • Bankruptcy Debtor Education Class before discharge
  • Support for 4-H Youth Programs and contests
  • One-on-One Mentoring
  • Classes at DSS, Head Start, community groups, and faith-based organizations of a variety of financial and consumer issues
  • In school and after school programs and parent groups
  • Assist with education at VITA tax sites
  • Financial education classes for Community Action and Food Pantries
  • Create your own!

For more information, please contact your local Extension office or the contacts listed on this page.


Dawn Barnes
FCE co-chair

Karen Poff
FCE co-chair

Kimberly Edmonds
Coverage area: Henrico

Elizabeth G-Mundoma
Coverage area: Chesapeake, Norfolk, Porstmouth, Virginia Beach

Jane Henderson
Coverage area: Amelia

Katrina Kirby
Coverage area: Petersburg

Twandra Lomax-Brown
Coverage area: City of Richmond

Sonja Mitchell
Coverage area: City of Newport News

Karen Munden
Coverage area: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk

Karen Lynn Poff, MPA, AFC®
Coverage area: Northern Shenandoah Valley (Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah, and Warren Counties)

Aisha Salazar
Coverage area: Arlington County and City of Alexandria