In response to COVID-19, the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois originally awarded 16 Laptop Scholarships. You can read more about those recipients here. 

Check out some inspiring stories from our scholarship recipients, and how support from our donors has impacted and assisted them in reaching their potential!

“As a mother, student, and full-time employee, I work hard to make ends meet, and it can be a challenge to balance studying for the CPA exam among my other responsibilities. But your award has helped to lighten my load and, more importantly, your support has reinforced my determination to reach my goals and realize my dream of becoming a CPA.” 

Emelice Romo
CPA Exam Award Recipient

“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
Loyola University Chicago, Expected 2021
2019 Mary T. Washington Wylie Scholar & Student Ambassador

“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
Northern Illinois University, Expected May 2021
Academic Scholarship Recipient

“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

Watch Monica's video here!

“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
Dominican University, 2020
Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship Recipient

Watch Jianna's video here!


“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
Western Illinois University, Expected May 2021
Herman J. Neal 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 a higher education and achieve my life-changing goal of becoming a CPA!” 

Zaria Ward
Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, 2020
Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship Recipient



“The road I took to becoming a CPA was demanding. I devoted huge amounts of time to studying and passing the exam while completing my master’s degree. This award took a huge weight off my shoulders and gave me a confidence boost. I do not think I could have done it without you.”

Daniel Kozlak, CPA
Northern Illinois University, 2019
CPA Exam Award Recipient

“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
Northern Illinois University, 2020
Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship Recipient

Check out Paige's speech at the Illinois CPA Society's 2019 Summit on August 27.

“This program was a transformative opportunity! In addition to a scholarship, I had access to a large professional network, and learned necessary business skills and interview tips. Because of connections I made, I’ve secured several internships which will further my career, as well as increase diversity in the accounting profession.”  

Morayma Barron
University of St. Francis, 2020
Tuition Scholarship Recipient & 2019 Mary T. Washington Wylie Scholar

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

Jesse Wilson, CPA
University of Illinois, 2019
Tuition & Herman J. Neal Scholarships 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
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2020
Tuition Scholarship Recipient & Student Ambassador 

“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
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, 2017
CPA Exam Award 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
Northern Illinois University
Women's Executive Committee Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship Recipient

"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 have been able to cover most of my educational expenses, but this scholarship allows me to realize my dreams and focus my time and energy on my academics and campus involvement."

Kiara Schuh, CPA
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2019
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
Benedictine University, 2018
CPA Exam Award Recipient

"I am a first-generation college student and English was not the primary language spoken in my home growing up, which has challenged me to work hard. Because of my role as a student ambassador, I became more persistent and driven in my personal goal of becoming a CPA, as I guided other students through their own development."

Brian Ta
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, 2019
Kenneth J. and Jacqueline M. Hull Accounting Scholarship Recipient & Student Ambassador

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