iStock_000074473689_SmallA loving daughter, a self-driven MBA, a recent immigrant, an Armed Services veteran, a dedicated student, an enterprising Girl Scout … what do they all have in common? They all want to be CPAs.

Here are their inspiring stories — as told to us in their Belicia Scholarship entries

Be sure to grab a tissue!

SamanthaSamantha, South Dakota

Student (May 2016 graduation)

For Her Father

After her father made the mistake of switching from an accounting degree in college before later entering and struggling to advance in the profession, Samantha was certain she’d start her career off right.

“My father has always told me that if I just put the hard work in for a few years in college, unlike he did, I won’t have to struggle in the beginning like he has,” Samantha wrote in her essay. “Ever since he first told me his story I have known I wanted to graduate with a degree in accounting just to make up for what he never got to do.”

She entered the Belicia Scholarship in hopes of getting the study materials to earn CPA certification quickly after her graduation in May 2016—and to make her father proud.


KhloeKhloe, Ohio

Currently working in accounting

Truly Self-Driven

Some people find inspiration in family, in mentors, in others – Khloe finds her inspiration and drive deep from within.

“All my life I have challenged myself to learn as much as I can,” she said in her essay. “Learning for the sake of understanding the world better is what drives my intellectual pursuits.”

While admittedly not the best test-taker, she managed perform well in school. She recently completed her MBA and has set her sights squarely on CPA certification. It’s this intense drive to learn, no matter how broad or focused the topic, that has driven Khloe. While the enormity or complexity of a topic like public accounting might overwhelm others, she finds it challenging.

“My parents always told me the only person that can get in the way of you is you,” she says.


AudreyAudrey, Maryland

Student (July 2016 graduation)

Following In Her Aunt’s Footsteps

Audrey migrated to the U.S. in 2013 from Kenya and was unsure of how to continue her education and career.

As Audrey told us in her personal essay: “I needed an icon and a mentor in the accounting world and I found one in my aunt. I have learned innumerable lessons from her. For instance: Being an honest person in career and in life, working hard and being disciplined.”

Her aunt gave her valuable direction and advice that has served her well. Today, she is passionate about completing her education and becoming a Certified Public Accountant.


MichaelMichael, California

Student (May 2017 graduation)

Inspired By His Fellow Veterans

Michael served in the U.S. military for 15 years, including nine years of active duty. During his military career, he witnessed service men and women overcome amazing odds.

“I have been amazed at the level of dedication that wounded veterans have even after life-changing injuries,” Michael wrote in his essay. “There is no shortage of stories of perseverance from veterans learning how to walk again or becoming world-class athletes despite the loss of limbs.”

His fellow veterans are his inspiration for tackling—and someday beating—the CPA Exam. Michael is committed to accomplishing this goal while also balancing a full-time job, going to school and caring for his family.

“The inspiration that wounded veterans give to the rest of us allows us to put our struggles in perspective and not give up,” he wrote.

Thank you for your service, Michael.


UntitledAlicia, Colorado

Currently working in accounting               

Inspired By A Caring Professor

In 2012, after moving to Colorado, Alicia decided to pursue her dream of finishing college. As part of her Marketing degree, she had to take accounting classes. At first, she struggled and she hated accounting, until she found the right mentor.

One of her professors, Chris Lyon, prompted Alicia to consider switching her major and pursuing accounting as a career.

“Prof. Lyon pushed me and challenged me to succeed by getting me involved with Beta Alpha Psi and showed me a whole different perspective of the world, the accounting perspective,” she says. “I was hooked!”

After graduation, Alicia started her career at a small public accounting firm in Durango, CO. Today, she’s working hard toward earning her CPA certification—and she’s grateful to Prof. Lyon for helping her discover her true passion.


JessicaJessica, Kentucky

Currently working in accounting

Mom & The Girls Scouts

At an early age, Jessica learned from her schoolteacher mother that you should do what you love. She always knew she loved accounting.

“I found my love for money as a Girl Scout selling cookies,” says Jessica. “ I was the member of my troop who counted all the money, ‘paid the bills’, and developed a budget so that our troop could go on a trip at the end of the year.”

This was solidified when a couple CPAs from Deloitte visited her high school accounting class. She was determined to complete her accounting degree—and she did.

Today, after graduating from Kentucky State University, she heads the fiscal department for the state of Kentucky and enjoys helping to train new employees on fiscal procedures. She’s eager to round out her knowledge by earning the most prestigious of credentials in the field.

Feeling inspired? Ready to tackle the CPA Exam? Sign up for a free two-week trial of Wiley CPAexcel.