Governor Rick Scott Announces Nearly $200,000 in Scholarships Awarded to Minority Students Seeking to Become a CPA

Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s (DBPR) Division of Certified Public Accounting today announced it awarded nearly $200,000 in scholarships to minority students in accounting programs at colleges and universities throughout Florida. The scholarships are awarded to 30 accounting students pursuing their fifth year in college required to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant.

Governor Scott said, “Florida is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the nation, and we are pleased to reward these students for their hard work. These scholarships are helping to keep some of our brightest minds here in Florida, as these students work to attain their version of the American Dream. We are so proud of their accomplishments and cannot wait to see what all they can achieve as they pursue a career as a licensed CPA.”

The Clay Ford scholarships were awarded through the CPA Education Minority Assistance Program, which was created in 1999 to encourage minorities to enter the CPA profession.

“Providing an opportunity for minority accounting students to pursue a career as a licensed CPA enriches the profession as a whole,” said DBPR Secretary Ken Lawson. “Florida is known for its diverse population and by encouraging students from all backgrounds to enter this field provides these students with an opportunity to complete education requirements to become successful state-licensed professionals. In Florida, only licensed CPAs can perform certain services such as financial audits.”

The CPA Education Minority Assistance Program is funded by a portion from each individual and CPA firm license fee. Through the award, scholarship applicants may be awarded up to $6,000 per semester for a maximum of two semesters. The Florida Board of Accountancy’s CPA Education Minority Assistance Advisory Council met in August where they recommended scholarships to be awarded to the following individuals for the fall and spring semesters:

Recipient Name

College or University


Ana Torres Florida International University Miami Beach
Cassaundra Christie University of Central Florida Ocoee
Christopher Jones University of South Florida Pensacola
Clara Ardon Florida International University Homestead
Connie Zhang Warner University Lake Wales
Cristina Gil Cano University of South Florida Palm Harbor
Devin Archer University of South Florida Sarasota
Elena Davis University of West Florida Navarre
Elijah Williams University of South Florida Fort Lauderdale
Esperanza Perez University of Central Florida Apopka
Hie Kim University of Central Florida Orlando
Jane Sukuro Florida International University North Miami Beach
Javier Sanchez Florida State University Pembroke Pines
Jocelyn Cardenas Florida International University Miami Gardens
Kassandra Carr Florida State University Pembroke Pines
Kevin Hung University of Florida Jacksonville
Leonardo Molineros Florida Atlantic University Coconut Creek
Lilly Zaiter Everest University Tampa
Marc Diaz Florida International University Hialeah
Qian Zhang Florida State University Hollywood
Samantha Riggs Stetson University Eustis
Sarah Hills Florida A&M University Tallahassee
Steven Saballos Stetson University Miami
Talha Al-Sayeed Nova Southeastern University Kissimmee
Tara Sol Nova Southeastern University Miramar
Taylor Rochelle University of Florida St. Augustine
Vaughn Raoul Florida State University Tallahassee
Viktoria Kazsamer Stetson University Daytona Beach
Viviana Rivera Florida International University Miramar
Wendy Gonzalez Costales Florida International University Miami

Applications are accepted each year on a rolling basis and will be applied to the appropriate school year. The deadline for applications for the 2015 – 2016 school year is June 1, 2015. Applications are available online at



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