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AICPA Names 2021 George Willie Scholarship and Internship Recipients

The George Willie program provides a scholarship and internship to ten ethnic minority accounting students who intend to pursue a CPA. The AICPA provides a scholarship of up to $10,000 to each student to assist with their final academic year.

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The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is pleased to announce the ten recipients of the 2021 George Willie Ethnically Diverse Student Scholarship and Internship Program.

The George Willie program provides a scholarship and internship to ten ethnic minority accounting students who intend to pursue a CPA. The AICPA provides a scholarship of up to $10,000 to each student to assist with their final academic year. In addition, each recipient is given an internship during the 2022 busy season (January to April) sponsored by one of the AICPA’s Private Company Practice Section (PCPS) member firms.

“The George Willie program provides students with practical, hands-on experience that is needed for a successful career as a CPA while also acting as a building block towards increasing diversity and inclusion within the profession,” said Shelly Frazier, CPA, senior manager of diversity and inclusion for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. “It is in the best interest of firms within the accounting profession to encourage, develop and increase opportunities for ethnic minorities. This program helps students transition into the profession and, simultaneously, offers firms a new opportunity toward growing a diverse and inclusive workplace.”

“Due to the George Willie Scholarship Program, I was able to confidently grow as a student and professional. It allowed me to focus on school and my career without worrying about any financial obligations,” said Amber Richmond, a graduate accounting student at The University of Memphis and a 2020 participant in the George Willie program.

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

  • Reina Godeck: King & Oliason; University of Washington
  • Summer Jaime: Moss Adams; Hollins University
  • Alhasan Idrees: Dean Dorton; University of North Georgia
  • Musab Makhtal: Abdo, Eick & Meyers; Concordia University – St. Paul
  • Guillermo Malpartida: SobelCo; Southern Connecticut State University
  • Francisco Martinez Jr.: BPM, Inc.; California State University
  • Olajide Oladipo: Bowman & Company; Villanova University
  • Deondra Ricketts: O’Connor & Drew P.C.; Suffolk University
  • Kya Sanchez: Anders CPA; Northwest Missouri State University
  • Amber Tabata: Krost CPAs; California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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.

“Reflecting on our firm’s experience as a sponsor firm in the 2020 program, two items stand out.  Having the opportunity to work with an incredibly talented accounting student, Amber Richmond, who exhibited continued interest in understanding how a public accounting firm works.  In addition, it was an honor to meet Mr. George Willie and connect him with Amber as a facilitator for a firmwide meeting,” said Charlotte Henderson, Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck. “Our firm highly recommends that accounting firms apply to this exceptional program offered through the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section.” 

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 2023 can visit for more information. Applications are currently open, with a deadline of November 1, 2021. Student applications will open in the spring of 2022 once the co-sponsoring firms have been selected.