Annually the Fund awards approximately $250,000 in scholarships and outreach support to more than 275 of the most diverse and deserving accounting students across the state. Here are just a few testimonials from some of the recipients of our scholarship programs.

"My father immigrated to the US without knowing a lick of English, but with dreams of providing a better life for his family. He taught me and my nine siblings the value of hard work. Unfortunately, while I was in high school, he unexpectedly passed away from ALS, striking my family with overwhelming grief and shock. His passing pushed me to be more independent, and your support gave me the added confidence I needed to finish my accounting degree next year, in his honor."

Miriam Ahmed
Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship Recipient


“Growing up in poverty the odds were against me and I faced challenges that could have easily derailed my life. However, your programs and your investment in my future unveiled incredible opportunities that helped me stay focused and motivated.”

Andrew Allen, CPA
Academic Scholarship Recipient & Mary T. Washington Wylie Scholar

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“I excitedly took all four sections of the CPA exam right after graduating only to learn that I would need to retake three of them. Combined with the emotional and financial burdens of my father suffering a stroke, becoming a CPA seemed impossible. If not for this CPA Exam Award and donor support, I would not be the proud CPA I am today. Thank you for investing in me.” 

Monica Allgaier, CPA
CPA Exam Award Recipient

“I am so thankful to have received a Laptop Award. With this support, I have been able to focus on my academic and career paths without the stressor of having to share with my roommate or find an open computer lab. Opportunities such as this one mean so much to me, as they work towards minimizing educational inequalities. This award has allowed me to experience a more fulfilling education.” 

Abby Carbajal
Laptop Award Recipient


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“Tragedy struck when my father, a proud public CPA, unexpectedly passed away. Losing my father at a young age (13) took an immense emotional and financial toll on my family. The financial assistance from this scholarship alleviated the strain of student loans, tuition bills, textbooks, and review courses, allowing me to focus on my education and earning the CPA in his honor.” 

Paige Cosgrove, CPA
Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship Recipient

“I am incredibly thankful that my mother beat cancer, but her illness left our family with tons of bills. Our family does everything in its power to help one another, but there is no way they could help with my tuition now. This award kept me in school, which means everything to me.”  

Christine Crews, CPA
Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship Recipient

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“Throughout most of my life, the responsibility to pay for my expenses fell heavily on my shoulders. Additionally, I took on supporting my family, causing me to learn very quickly the importance of giving, even when you don’t receive anything in return. Because of these life experiences, I truly cannot stress how much of an impact your scholarship has made on my life. You have given me the gift of time – allowing me the opportunity to study for the CPA examination instead of working at a part-time job in order to fund my education." 

Mary Farmer
Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship Recipient


"The scholarships you fund provide that extra bit of reassurance that achieving the CPA credential is possible. I received the award the week before my daughter was born and I can’t thank you enough for the incredible burst of energy and final push that helped me pass!"

Justin Goetz, CPA
CPA Exam Award Recipient

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“I’ve worked multiple jobs to support myself through college, at times feeling like completing my education wouldn’t be possible. But thanks to the support of donors like you, and your investment in my future, I’m inspired to work harder, finish my degree, and earn my CPA. The scholarships you help provide make a world of difference in paving the way for future CPAs like me.” 

Daniel Harrington
Academic Scholarship Recipient

“The program helped me embrace the idea that I’m in the driver’s seat when it comes to my career. After help from dedicated program volunteers, my resume is much stronger than it was before, and I know that I have the potential to keep growing as I gain valuable career experience. Everything I learned, and the confidence I gained, empowered me to ace my interviews, and ultimately, I landed my first internship!”

Shyrice Howell
Mary T. Washington Wylie Scholar


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“Pursuing my passion for accounting hasn’t been easy. Following the unexpected death of my mother, and my father being laid off due to the pandemic, I worked part- and full-time jobs while balancing my honors courses. Thanks to the help of your $4,000 scholarship, I’ll be the only member of my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.” 

Jianna Keska
Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship Recipient

“I am beyond honored to be selected as a recipient of the CPA Exam Award. In challenging times, it is hard to balance everyday financial needs with the desire to pursue my passion for learning. This award was a huge motivation for me as I can worry less and concentrate more on preparing for the exams. My lifetime dream of becoming a CPA is coming true, and your support helped me get here.”

Tiffany Lee
CPA Exam Award Recipient


"My parents gave up a lot to provide me with an opportunity for a better life. However, I faced many obstacles and found myself questioning if I was good enough to attend college, let alone earn my CPA. This scholarship was worth so much more than financial assistance; it gave me the confidence to not give up before I even began. Your support empowered me to reach my potential and honor my parents’ sacrifices. Now, I’m committed to obtaining my CPA… no matter what it takes!"

Marlene Medina
CPA Exam Award Recipient


“I am where I am today because I’ve been fortunate to have role models and donors who believe in me. Last summer, I hit a wall and I wanted to quit, but your support gave me the motivation and confidence to push forward. Now, I’m doing everything in my power to overcome financial, physical, and emotional struggles. I am forever grateful to those who’ve helped make my success possible.”

Tyler Moseberry
Herman J. Neal Scholarship Recipient & Mary T. Washington Wylie Scholar

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“The programs funded by your generosity have helped me grow tremendously over the past few years. They’ve assisted in developing my skills, building my network, and boosting my confidence, and have provided professional development opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Thank you for your kindness, which has provided me, and many others, with so many valuable resources that we need to succeed today.” 

Jennile O’Connor
Herman J. Neal Scholarship Recipient & Mary T. Washington Wylie Scholar

“I’m a recent graduate and a parent making a lot of sacrifices for my future. I’m dedicated to obtaining the CPA to increase my knowledge and opportunities. This award enables me to finish my journey of passing the CPA exam without putting a strain on my financial household needs.” 

Tricia Parham-Barney

CPA Exam Award Recipient & Mary T. Washington Wylie Scholar

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"As a first-generation college student, I put 110% effort toward every part of my education, landing me the opportunity to graduate a semester early — with a triple major to boot! Balancing my role as editor of the campus newsletter and a leader in several campus organizations with my rigorous courses, I know all the leadership opportunities I have had are teaching me to be a more fair, honest, and ethical person, which will be an asset to any accounting firm I join. Thank you for recognizing my ambition and hard work. I am truly honored to be a recipient of your prestigious scholarship.”

Emily Schrader
Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship Recipient & Student Ambassador


"My mother singlehandedly raised my brother and me and faced considerable challenges as an entrepreneur during the recession. She continues to inspire me to persevere and work diligently toward my goals. With two campus jobs, I was able to cover most of my educational expenses, but this scholarship allowed me to realize my dreams and focus my time and energy on my academics and campus involvement."

Kiara Schuh, CPA
Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship Recipient

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“Receiving your Freshman Scholarship has greatly lessened the financial burden on my family during my first year as an accounting major at Illinois State University. Without the additional concern of paying for college, I can focus on my education and development. This award also gave me the confidence to attend your Internship Preparation Program, where I gained important skills and connections in the accounting industry. I know how important it is to grow my interpersonal and networking capabilities as an honors student and I could not do this without your help.”

Joshua Thompson
Academic Scholarship Recipient


“Obtaining a college degree is my way out of a continuous cycle of poverty. My widowed mother has her own financial burdens, so your generous scholarship has afforded me the opportunity to receive higher education and achieve my life-changing goal of becoming a CPA!” 

Zaria Ward
Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship Recipient & Mary T. Washington Wylie Scholar

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“My father was required by his job to retire, cutting his income to less than half as he tried to put me and my younger sister through college. This scholarship made it possible for me to complete the final year of my master’s degree and prepare for - and pass! -  the CPA exam.”  

Jesse Wilson, CPA
Academic & Herman J. Neal Scholarships Recipient