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688th Cyberspace Wing Chaplain Corps organizes virtual resiliency course

Screenshot of 20 members from the financial management course.

Members of the financial management class, organized by the 688th Cyberspace Wing, gather virtually for their commemorative class photo during course graduation at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Nov. 18, 2020. During graduation, the class presented awards to several members either for their efforts in facilitating classes or for their financial accomplishments. (U.S. Air Force graphic illustration by Capt. Carmelle Lapena)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - LACKLAND, Texas -- Members of Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland participated in virtual training to achieve financial stability. 
 
Organized by the 688th Cyberspace Wing Chaplain Corps, U.S. Air Force Capt. Amy O’Connell and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jasmine Jones made the class available during fall 2020. 
 
The nine-week course offered a full-spectrum approach towards financial management and resiliency and encouraged building and maintaining a strong family structure, mature decision-making and ethical living. 
 
With more than 40 Total Force active duty, civilian and reserve Airmen, attendees were either close to retirement or just starting their career. Members of the 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) and 67th Cyberspace Wing also attended the course remotely from Mississippi, Alabama, and Oklahoma.
 
Despite working remotely, the class produced better results than previously offered in-person. The attendance rate was higher and proved more flexible to reach personnel in geographically-separated units.
 
Two classes were facilitated by U.S. Air Force Captain Carmelle Lapeña and U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Douglas Kost every week to accommodate student availability.
 
During the course a total of $69,436 worth of debt was paid off, 14 credit cards were closed, and attendees avoided $4,728,761 worth of debt from over 320 credit card offers, mortgage refinance offers, and debt consolidation loan offers.
 
“This class has reinforced what I gathered from personal study,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Adams, a member of the 26th Network Operations Squadron, Maxwell Air Force Base Gunter Annex, Alabama. “One of the biggest things I learned was how to actually create a budget and follow through.  Prior I would check my money usage at the end of the month and check where I have been spending my money.”

By the end of the course, everyone shared that they had met their goals for taking the course. More than three-fourths of the class stated they are using a working monthly budget and currently don’t live paycheck to paycheck. Overall, the class showed they are in good standing when it comes to their finances.

During graduation, members received their certificate of completion along with memorandums of the class’ achievements, both documents were sent to each student’s command leadership for recognition.