By Jennifer Rieman, CAE, manager, public relations
Sometimes a plan doesn’t work out the first time. For Meaghan Diaz, an accounting student at The University of Akron, it took a few years of soul searching before she was ready to give college another try. Her first go-round, at Calvin College, wasn’t for her. “I wasn’t mentally ready to attend college right after high school,” Diaz said. “I ended up moving back home and getting a part-time job at a small accounting firm.”
After several years, Diaz felt ready to give college another shot. Currently a junior, she’s completing her degree while holding down a variety of jobs, including a recent full-time internship at BCG & Company.
“I have so many advantages going back to school later in life,” she said. “I’m in a better state of mind, I’m more focused and I’m doing well. I didn’t have these grades the first time around – I’ve made the President’s or Dean’s List every semester since I’ve been back in school because I know what I’m working for.”
The Ohio CPA Foundation’s Clarke Price Accounting Scholarship recognizes students like Diaz, who exemplify the qualities and characteristics that reflect Price’s long, successful tenure at OSCPA – leadership, innovation and commitment.
They’re traits that fit Tanner Skelton, also a Clarke Price Accounting Scholarship recipient, quite well. A sophomore at Xavier, Skelton works as the Men’s Basketball Program Assistant and participates in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps. He’s the Xavier University Accounting Society President while maintaining a course load that will put him on track to graduate with
150 hours in four years. Skelton has no doubts about earning an accounting degree and going on to get his CPA. “I wanted to major in accounting since my sophomore year in high school,” he said. “My dad has an accounting degree and strongly recommended it. I wanted to take a major that was both challenging and had a lot of use, and accounting is the language of business.”
The one-time award of $2,000 goes a long way for both Diaz and Skelton.
“Right now, I still have loans that I’m taking out so I can go to school,” Skelton said. “My parents are very generous and pay for some of my tuition, but getting this scholarship will definitely reduce the burden on my family and allow me to focus on schoolwork.”
For Diaz, going back to school comes with a lot of financial responsibility. “I’m really struggling because I’m only able to work part time,” she said. “I want to keep my grades up, so I need to leave that time for school. Money is a bit of a struggle, so the $2,000 will help immensely. It’s a wonderful, wonderful gift.”