AICPA Now Accepting Applicants to George Willie Scholarship Program

February 4, 2020

New York (February 4, 2020) – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is now accepting applications for the Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) George Willie Ethnically Diverse Student Scholarship and Internship program.

The George Willie program provides a scholarship and internship to five minority accounting students who intend to pursue their CPA licensure. The AICPA provides a scholarship of up to $20,000 to each student to assist with their final academic year tuition, while five PCPS member firms each sponsor a student for an internship during the 2021 tax season (January to April).

The participating member firms are:  

  • Aronson LLC, Rockville, MD
  • Boyum Barenscheer, Bloomington, MN
  • OnTarget CPA, Indianapolis, IN
  • Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck PLC, Memphis, TN
  • Sensiba San Filippo, Pleasanton, CA

“Interning for a firm is one of the best ways to experience what it means to be a CPA,” said Carl Peterson, CPA, CGMA, Association International of Certified Professional Accountants’ vice president of small firm interests. “This program gives students financial backing to help them complete their accounting education and real-world experience that will better prepare them for a career as a CPA.”

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. During his more than 35-year career, Willie has promoted the benefits of a career in accounting to students and young professionals in pursuit of the CPA license.

“This internship experience has been invaluable in helping me establish my future career plans,” said Maurea Richmond, a current Willie Scholarships Program recipient interning with Glenn Burdette in San Luis Obispo, Calif. “I’ve gained experience, knowledge and transferrable skills as well as made connections, that I can use as I pursue my CPA. At the same time, the program has assured that I am able to finish my education.”

The Willie program is open to Black or African American; Hispanic or Latino; Native American or Alaska Native; Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; Multiethnic; or Asian American students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in accounting or an accounting-related major with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants also must plan to sit for the CPA exam. Full eligibility requirements and selection criteria are available online.

This program is one of ways the AICPA is working to broaden the pipeline of talent entering the profession. The U.S. census projects that minorities will comprise the majority of the population in the U.S. by 2045. A more diverse and inclusive profession will be better equipped to address the shifts in entrepreneurial capital that will result from these changing demographics.

Students interesting in the program can visit aicpa.org/pcpsscholarship for more information. Applications are currently open, with a deadline of April 15, 2020.

The AICPA is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the profession, and this is one of several programs dedicated toward that effort. The Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop is an annual, all-expenses-paid event for racial and ethnic minority students to strengthen their professional and networking skills, while helping them to prepare for a career in accounting. The AICPA Scholarship Award for Minority Accounting Students, part of the AICPA Legacy Scholars program, provides funding to outstanding minority students studying accounting. And the Accounting Inclusion Maturity Model is a tool to help organizations assess and measure their diversity and inclusion efforts.