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Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop Empowers Minority Accounting Students

ASLW image 2The American Institute of CPAs recently announced that the application period for this year’s Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop (ASLW) is now open. The Workshop, now in its 21st year, is an invitational program for minority accounting students who plan to pursue the CPA license.

The Workshop will feature interactive programs, speakers and panel discussions aimed at improving attendees’ professional skills while highlighting the many career benefits of earning the CPA license. Sessions will cover issues such as strategies for passing the CPA exam, navigating corporate culture, financial literacy, and thinking like an entrepreneur

This year’s Workshop with be held from July 29-31 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, 700 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore, MD. Qualified candidates may apply from now until April 30, 2015.

I recently spoke with Neisha Fredericks, a manager on the AICPA’s Diversity and Inclusion team who is involved in the planning and execution of the Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop, for more details on the workshop and why students should apply.

James Schiavone: Can you tell me a little about the AICPA’s goal with the Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop?

NF: The goal of the ASLW is to enhance the student’s professional acumen and to provide them a better understanding of the CPA license and the many benefits and opportunities that await them in the profession. Through panel discussions and networking opportunities at the workshop, students hear from working CPAs who were once just like them. The Workshop gives the students the opportunity to look behind the curtain and ask questions about the profession. We want them to see firsthand just how great their future can be when they become a CPA!

JS: Why do you think ASLW is a valuable experience for these students?

Neisha Fredericks: When I ask attendees to reflect on their experience during the workshop, they say time and again that it was so valuable for them to know that the profession they aspire to join wants them too.

Being among working CPAs forges a real connection with the student’s goals and aspirations and provides them understanding of the steps they need to take to achieve them. The dedicated volunteers who attend the sessions really help shape the experience for the students. Many have said, that they’ve never had anyone extended themselves in this way before.

JS:  What impact has ASLW made on students who’ve gone through the program?

NF: Students who have attended the workshop are substantially more motivated to take and pass the CPA Exam. Not only because they now have a network of peers that can help provide support, but because they know that they have an entire profession on their side, pulling for them.

JS:  Can you talk a little about the support of the AICPA Foundation for this program?

NF: The AICPA Foundation has been quite generous in its continued support of the Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop. The Board of Trustees unequivocally believes in each one of those students that takes a seat at the program. They know these students will use the experience to achieve greatness, which is why they cover the entire workshop including travel, lodging and meals. This support ensures the students are comfortable and present in the workshop and not worrying about the cost.

The AICPA Foundation also provides generous support for many of the AICPA’s scholarship programs. It is truly a worthy cause for anyone who wants to contribute to the future of the profession, which they can do online at www.aicpa.org/give.


The Workshop is open to ethnic minorities who are sophomore, junior, senior, 5th year, or graduate students and have declared a major in accounting, finance or tax with an intent to pursue the CPA credential. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, be actively involved in campus and community activities and be a Student Affiliate Member of the AICPA as well as a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident.

James Schiavone, Senior Manager- Public Relations, American Institute of CPAs.



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