Community service: an investment in the future
Advisor Forest Busby Jr. was honored with the 2021 Association of African American Financial Advisors (AAAA) award for Excellence in Community Service. The award identifies and celebrates individuals for their dedication to pro bono service initiatives in their communities. Forest is a vice president with Woodforest Wealth Strategies, an independent practice located in The Woodlands, Texas, north of Houston, that is aligned with Raymond James Financial Services. BFAN Connection caught up with him to discuss his commitment to giving back to the community.
What did receiving the AAAA award for Excellence in Community Service signify to you?
Receipt of the award was both humbling and gratifying. It signified that after years of searching, I managed to find an environment that reflects the values that my natural and extended families have espoused for generations. Both Raymond James and Woodforest Wealth Strategies advocate for and support community service for their associates.
Why is community service important?
Not everyone is born into families that are fully equipped to provide all of the support necessary for success in America. I’ve learned that “It takes a village to raise a child” is an African proverb that means an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to grow in a safe and healthy environment. I feel that this applies to people of all ages.
What instilled you with a sense of importance for giving back?
Gratitude. I’ve lived a blessed life and I’ve benefited from the generosity of my family, friends and mentors. Mentors such as Dr. Bridges Alfred Turner, Dr. Gerhard F. Paskusz and Donald Hylton took time out of their busy lives when I was a young man to ensure that I benefited from their knowledge and wisdom.
What organizations do you work with?
My basic approach is to partner with sponsoring organizations such as schools, churches and businesses. An example of a sponsoring organization is Raymond James and our commitment to the Black community. Through this sponsorship I partner with Carl Scott, other Houston-area advisors and the Houston-area Urban League to teach financial literacy in targeted communities. Another example is Woodforest Charitable, which has coordinated volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, the Montgomery County Food Bank, and the Interfaith of The Woodlands. The University of Houston has allowed me to serve on the Student Success Advisory Board for the Program for Mastery in Engineering Studies. Fallbrook Church allows me to serve as a subject matter expert for their financial ministry. The Brazosport Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., allows me to help them meet their commitment to provide financial literacy programs in Brazoria County. And the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee allows me to help as needed.
What type of work do you do with these organizations?
Most of the organizations take advantage of my public speaking abilities, but I am not opposed to rolling up my sleeves and providing manpower when needed. Raymond James and Woodforest Wealth were kind enough to approve a seminar that I use as a base for most of the financial presentations. I worked all types of jobs while in undergraduate school, so I know how to use my hands, also.
Why is this work important to you?
I enjoy the work and I consider it an investment in some of the best and brightest people around. That’s the difference between community service and charity – we expect to produce future contributors to society, to see a return on investment, through our work in the communities that we serve.
This piece was featured in BFAN Connection, a biannual newsletter from the Black Financial Advisors Network. View the latest.
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