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2019 Philanthropy Report: Fresh Faces in Leadership

2019 Philanthropy Report: Fresh Faces in Leadership

The American College of Financial Services
April 8, 2020

Through scholarship, The College opens new avenues of growth.

In The American College of Financial Services’ 2019 Philanthropy Report, we challenged ourselves and our readers to reimagine what it means to be a financial services professional in a changing field and tumultuous economic times. We’re proud to announce the Philanthropy Report is now available online! You can read the entire report here

The smell of testosterone permeated the air. The sound of glove to bag, rhythmic and soothing in its violence, bounced across the graffiti-covered walls. And there was Faith Wells, MSM, sitting across from local boxing legend Michael Wells, ready to peel back the layers to reveal her documentary’s title, More Than a Champion.

“How is life?” she asked her interview subject, who doubles daily as her dad. 

Smiling, Michael Wells turned philosophical. “Life is great. Life is a blessing … family, kids, ministry. Sharing the gospel. (It is about) being a blessing when you can. Life has its trials, its joys, and seasons for everything. But through it all, it is a great ride,” said the boxing lifer, who once fought legendary Bernard Hopkins before turning to ministry. 

In just over five minutes, Michael Wells poured out his soul, and in doing so highlighted Faith Wells’ unique ability to craft stories and make people, including dear old dad, feel at ease. 

A self-declared people person, Faith embraces the uniqueness of others. It is the premise behind her YouTube Channel, Faith Without Borders, where she opens a video titled "How to Not Fit In" by proclaiming, “Rock the boat. Do not let your dreams just float.” 

Faith’s resume personifies that belief. She was a Dean's List student at Villanova University, while staying heavily involved in leadership, service work, faith-based education, and student athletics. She was also a leader on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, an adventure that gave her a new perspective on life. 

“You really become grateful for what you have,” she said. “It is a much bigger world than yours. These people are living in difficult circumstances, but there is always a smile on their faces. They appreciated our service to them.” 

If that sounds deep and spiritual, well, Faith has had practice. Growing up in West Philadelphia with her parents and five sisters, God has always been a big part of the family’s life, and has helped shape the way she views the world – a true treasure best celebrated together. 

Throughout all of her internships and jobs, she has gravitated to sharing those treasures through video. Now, as the Events and Special Projects Planner for the City of Philadelphia, she produces multimedia on citywide programs and initiatives, supports special event planning duties, and works in collaboration with marketing to assist with multi-platform media content campaigns. As part of her duties, she manages event volunteers, a job she relishes. 

“I try to bring some emotional intelligence to the role,” she said. “Everyone is unique, so I try to put myself in their shoes, and learn the best ways to communicate with them.” 

These are skills, she is quick to note, that she honed during the Master of Science in Management program at The American College of Financial Services. As a 21-year-old recent college graduate, Faith embarked on the 12-month program with executives twice her age. Yet, stature and prestige did not dissuade her leap of faith. In fact, as a recipient of The College’s African American Scholarship, young students like Faith can help corporate America and nonprofit organizations reimagine the faces of leadership. 

“I heard about the program from my dad, and I applied for an African American Scholarship because I really liked the leadership track,” she said. “I was by far the youngest in our cohort, which I took as a benefit. It allowed me to share a unique perspective, but honestly, it only amplified what was an advanced track in business management.” 

Wells’ favorite lessons were those about emotional listening. As she absorbed the knowledge of her peers, her ears were her biggest asset. 

“I learned very quickly that listening is power,” she said. “If you are a good listener, it opens up your ability to manage, execute, and even promote organizational values. The classes were impactful, but the peer discussions really put it over the top.” 

Now, Faith is embracing city life, working under the leadership of Mayor Jim Kenney’s City Representative, Sheila Hess, managing people, making videos, and telling stories. “Right now, it is exactly where I want to be,” she said. 

What is next may include a return to the classroom for her doctorate or even another intensive leadership program. Her love for education runs deep. 

“I remember as an eight-year-old playing school with my sisters,” she recalled. “I was always the teacher, hopefully teaching my sisters a thing or two.” 

Above all else, she is looking to break down borders and make an impact in her community. Those are values instilled by her parents, shaped at Villanova, and honed through the MSM degree program at The American College of Financial Services.

You can watch Faith’s documentary, More Than a Champion, by visiting www.bit.ly/faithwells.