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Mary T. Washington Wylie Opportunity Fund
Internship Preparation Program

2015 Scholars
2015 Scholars (Back row from left to right) Brandi Jackson, Susan Chun, Justin Sumait, John Satkas, Ellis Dudley, Jaareshiah Quarles, William Hernandez, David Salgado, Adrian Moreno, Jairo Flores, Deon Taylor, Justin Santiago, Bryant Riley, Praveen Prasad Madathil, Seyma On.  (Front row from left to right) Naomi Sorunke, Paulline Velasco, Jocelyn Depaz, Carina Ramirez, Montserret Sanchez-Garcia, Artaysia Clark, Olicia Wynter, Tamara Tillman, Jessica Zulfekar, Laura Rodriguez.

This Fund was established in collaboration with the Illinois CPA Society and the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois to honor the legacy of Mary T. Washington Wylie by supporting opportunities to diversify and strengthen the future of the CPA profession.

Mary T. Washington Wylie was the nation’s 13th African-American CPA, and the first female of the group to attain her license. In 1939, she founded her own firm, known today as Washington, Pittman & McKeever, in the basement of her South Side of Chicago home. At a time when most firms would not hire minorities, Ms. Washington recruited young African Americans from around the country, enabling them to fulfill the apprenticeships needed to earn their CPA licenses. She was a groundbreaker and mentor, and as such, fostered the development of a generation of African-American CPAs. Remembering Ms. Washington – INSIGHT magazine article 2005

The Internship Preparation Program is a three-day, all expenses paid program for up to 25 African American and other underrepresented minority accounting students who are sophomores or juniors at an Illinois college or university. The goal of the program is to prepare and place students interested in the CPA profession in successful internships at Illinois accounting firms through exposure to the profession, access to practical training, resources and mentors. At the end of the program, participating firms interview the students for a variety of paid internship opportunities.

The program was held for the first time in January 2013 in Chicago. We are pleased to report that in the three years since the program's inception, 75 students, representing 32 schools, have participated. To date, more than 40 students have received an internship or other offer. In addition, all of the students walked away with a $500 scholarship to help with educational expenses. Empower the Future – INSIGHT magazine article 2013

Check back in the Fall for the application for the January 2016 program.


  • Be a college student who is an underrepresented racial/ethnic minority in the accounting profession (e.g., African American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, etc.)
  • Be enrolled in an Illinois college as a sophomore or junior for the 2015-2016 academic year. 
  • Be a U.S. citizen or Permanent U.S. Resident.
  • Currently or intending to major in accounting and ultimately become a CPA.
  • Completion of an introductory accounting course is preferred.
  • Have a 3.0/4.0 GPA or equivalent.
  • Not currently committed to a particular accounting firm for an internship.
  • Not already participated in the Mary T. Washington Wylie Internship Preparation Program. 
  • Submit completed application, transcript, and recommendation letter from a current or past accounting professor, academic advisor, employer, mentor, volunteer manager, etc.
  • Available to attend the three-day program in January in Chicago. 

Donations to the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois’ Mary T. Washington Wylie Opportunity Fund made this program possible. The Fund has received more than $535,000 in support from annual contributions or pledges from individual and corporate donors. Thank you to the following major donors for their generosity:

  • ComEd
  • Crowe Horwath LLP
  • Deloitte LLP
  • Draper and Kramer, Inc.
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Grant Thornton LLP
  • Illinois CPA Society
  • Loop Capital
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • Sikich LLP
  • Washington, Pittman & McKeever, LLC

For questions or more information, please contact student@icpas.org or 312-993-0407 ext. 216.





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