Advertisement
business

My Story: A Soldier Comes Full Circle

Retired U.S. Army officer Justino Sosa of Chicago has a new career teaching personal finance at a community college like the one that put him on the road to success.

©Kevin J. Miyazaki 2011

So your new job brings you back to your roots? Yes. I went to Olive–Harvey Junior College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago, before enlisting in the U.S. Army in January 1973.

What did you do in the army? I started as a combat medic in Germany. Eventually, I ran humanitarian and medical operations in remote areas of Latin America. I retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2001.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Why get into teaching after your military career?I wanted to give back to society and be a mentor. I taught Junior ROTC for a time, but sometimes teaching high school kids is like herding cats.

How did you qualify for teaching at the college level? I had a bachelor’s degree in history from Loyola University Chicago, but I needed a graduate degree. I completed an MBA in 2009 and also a course in teaching from the City Colleges of Chicago last year. Earlier this year I became an adjunct instructor in the department of business at Harold Washington College.

What are your students like?They’re an interesting mix from various countries and cultures. Many come from disadvantaged family backgrounds.

And how do they take to personal finance? A handful of them are eager, but some are intimidated by the markets and the daily bombardment of financial news. I tell them not to get frustrated, and that once they master the basics of stocks, bonds and other investments, finance isn’t so daunting. Also, I tell them that while they may have trouble scraping together bus fare right now, once they have a little savings the things they learn about finance will be important.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

What’s their motivation for learning?Some want to start a business; some want to make money. I tell them that understanding finance will help them whether they manage their own investments or use an adviser.

Is your teaching salary important income for you?Because of my military benefits, I don’t need to work. Given the state of pensions, I may be a member of the last generation to say that.

Advertisement

Most Popular

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)
tax deadline

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)

Between due dates for IRA or HSA contributions, paying estimated taxes and other deadlines, there's more to do by July 15 than just filing your federa…
July 10, 2020
65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On
stocks

65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On

These 65 Dividend Aristocrats are an elite group of dividend stocks that have reliably increased their annual payouts every year for at least a quarte…
July 8, 2020
Know Why Your Credit Score Changes: 9 Money Moves to Consider
credit & debt

Know Why Your Credit Score Changes: 9 Money Moves to Consider

Your credit score is a key indicator of your financial well-being and of the risk you pose to lenders. How good is yours?
July 10, 2020

Recommended

Nursing in the Time of COVID-19
Financial Planning

Nursing in the Time of COVID-19

This health care professional warns that the pandemic will worsen the nursing shortage.
July 2, 2020
Chiropractor Trying to Get Business the Wrong Way – Illegally
careers

Chiropractor Trying to Get Business the Wrong Way – Illegally

A new chiropractor’s fledgling business plan to attract patients may sound reasonable at first look, but it’s actually against the law, and the same p…
June 30, 2020
Post-COVID-19, Seniors Must Chart a New Path in the Workplace
retirement

Post-COVID-19, Seniors Must Chart a New Path in the Workplace

Those most vulnerable to the pandemic will face challenges in the return to work, even as the recession means they may need their paychecks more than …
June 11, 2020
Dealing with an Early, Unexpected Retirement
retirement

Dealing with an Early, Unexpected Retirement

Current economic and health crises may be pushing many toward an unexpected retirement. Now is a good time to make a plan for yourself, just in case.
June 9, 2020