Charlie Stoever, MBA'22

Charlie Stoever, MBA'22
Charlie Stoever

Charlie Stoever, MBA’22, is acutely aware of the disadvantages that marginalized communities face due to financial illiteracy. Growing up as an undocumented Mexican immigrant in Washington state, she felt the stress of their limited resources. 

“I want to empower people, especially LGBTQ folks, people of color, to dive into finance and learn about financial literacy,” says Stoever, who has worked for the past year as a stockbroker for Charles Schwab. “When COVID caused the stock market to dive, people like me who were financially literate could take advantage of lower-priced stocks, while millions were applying for unemployment.”

Her goals go beyond helping individuals: She hopes to use her Heller Social Impact MBA to work for a social impact investing firm or in corporate social responsibility, to make ethical investing decisions that will help save the planet. 

Stoever’s desire to give back started after college, when she served in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua. It was one of the few countries in the Peace Corps network that welcomed same sex couples. After hesitating throughout training, she decided to come out, and she stepped up to lead LGBT Safe Zone Trainings.

“I didn’t feel safe saying I was texting my girlfriend during my initial Peace Corps training. I thought I’d have to be closeted for two years, but I was willing to do it for the cause,” Stoever says. “Through the Safe Zone trainings, it was a powerful tool to change minds. I blogged about the trainings on the official Peace Corps site, and a lot of queer volunteers would read it and thank me for sharing.”

After returning from Nicaragua, she took a variety of odd jobs, unsure of her career path. She moved to Washington, D.C., where many of her Wellesley classmates and fellow returned Peace Corps volunteers lived. As she applied for federal jobs, she led bike tours, dog sat, and even joined a company that did cross-country camping tours in cities and national parks. Discouraged by rejections because her lack of a master’s degree, she backpacked through Latin America for a summer, and a series of financial literacy podcasts piqued her interest.

When she returned, she made a drastic change. She moved to Indiana and joined Charles Schwab on the advice of a former classmate, studying to become a licensed financial advisor. Indiana wasn’t an easy place to live as an LGBTQ person, and after the COVID pandemic started, she felt increasingly isolated. She decided to quit her job use her new skills to give back to her community.

“I started doing one-on-one money coaching for people of color who have no experience in finance, using it to help other people be financially empowered,” she says. “I helped mostly my friends who are Latinx raise their credit scores, pay off their debt and then start investing.”

Stoever also looked for a way to increase her financial knowledge and go beyond one-on-one financial advising. She found Heller, drawn to its Social Impact MBA and Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowships.

Stoever says, “I’m looking forward to exploring what social entrepreneurship means, and how it’s getting even more and more important and urgent with global warming, Black Lives Matter, and the increasing discrepancy between socioeconomic classes.”