AICPA Names 2020 George Willie Scholarship and Internship recipients

September 8, 2020

Five ethnically diverse students receive up to $20,000 in scholarships and internships with public accounting firms during the 2021 busy season.

NEW YORK (September 8, 2020) – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is pleased to announce the five recipients of the 2020 George Willie Ethnically Diverse Student Scholarship and Internship Program.

The George Willie program provides a scholarship and internship to five ethnic minority accounting students who intend to pursue a CPA. The AICPA provides a scholarship of up to $20,000 to each student to assist with their final academic year. In addition, each recipient is given an internship during the 2021 busy season (January to April) sponsored by one of the AICPA’s Private Company Practice Section (PCPS) member firms.

“Practical experience gained through an internship helps prepare accounting students for a successful career as a CPA,” said Carl Peterson, CPA, CGMA, Association International of Certified Professional Accountants’ vice president of small firm interests. “This program gives students that hands-on experience and financial support to complete education, while also providing our firms qualified candidates to assist them during their busy season.”

Recipients of the scholarship, where they will be interning, and their universities of study are listed below:

  • Tairu Jozaitis: OnTarget CPA; Purdue University (Northwest)
  • Maria Moy: Boyum Barenscheer; University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
  • Audie Murphy: Aronson; University of Baltimore
  • Thy Thuy Nguyen: Sensiba San Filippo; California State University, Los Angeles
  • Amber Richmond: Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck; University of Memphis

This program was created in honor of George Willie, CPA, CGMA, a former chair of AICPA’s PCPS Executive Committee and the AICPA Minority Initiatives Committee. Throughout his nearly four-decades-long career, Willie has promoted the benefits of a career in accounting to students and young professionals in pursuit of the CPA designation.

“The George Willie program is a great opportunity to help build diversity within the profession,” said Shelly Frazier, senior manager of diversity and inclusion for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. “It supports the accounting student pipeline for ethnic minorities that our profession is in such great need of, and it helps them transition into the profession. Simultaneously, it offers firms a new opportunity toward improving the diversity in their workplace. So far, the program has been a been a “win” for both the student/pipeline and the firms/profession.”

The program is open to ethnic minority students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in accounting or an accounting-related major and who plan to sit for the CPA exam. Full eligibility requirements are available online.

This is one of several student-based programs from the AICPA to help increase the diversity in in the profession. The Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop is an annual, all-expenses-paid event for ethnic minority students to strengthen their professional and networking skills, while helping them to prepare for a career in accounting. And the AICPA Scholarship Award for Minority Accounting Students, part of the AICPA Legacy Scholars program, provides funding to outstanding minority students studying accounting.

Firms interested in co-sponsoring by providing an internship opportunity during busy season 2022 can visit aicpa.org/pcpsscholarship for more information. Applications are currently open, with a deadline of November 1, 2020. Student applications will open in the spring of 2021 once the co-sponsoring firms have been selected.