ACCOUNTING AWARENESS—Counselor Erika Mangual works with brothers, Joziah Council and Jesse Council, from Beaver Area High School. (Photo by J.L. Martello)
According to the United States Bureau of Labor, the mean salary for accountants and auditors around the country is $71,040 per year.
This statistic is a key motivator for the African-American students enrolled in Point Park’s Accounting Career Awareness Program, a one-week summer camp for minority students interested in exploring careers in accounting and finance.
“It’s been a great learning experience,” said Troy Miles, a soon to be senior at Propel School, in Monroeville, during a break on the second day of the program. “I know I want to go into some kind of career in business and I didn’t know a lot about accounting before so the program has taught me about the careers that are out there.”
ACAP, as part of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc, is designed to introduce students to the accounting, business, economics and finance professions through educational enrichment involving accounting, business, economics and finance professionals, university faculty and business, government and community mentors. Through Point Park’s program, running July 7-12, students have the opportunity to tour local companies and accounting firms while learning about professional development and college preparation.
“One of the most important things is I want them to leave empowered,” said Edward Scott, the George Rowland White endowed professor of accounting and finance. “Whether they’re going to go into accounting or not, what they’re learning this week is going to have some impact on what they do later in life.”
In addition to their introduction to accounting and finance, the student will also learn life skills such as dining etiquette resume building, and public speaking. Students in the program will also learn the basics of personal finance, a skill necessary for their success in any career field.
M.J. Roach, of PNC, speaks to the students. (Photos by J.L. Martello)
“It seemed like it would be a great opportunity for me and it’s been very informative and helpful,” said Aneia Dutrieuille, a senior at Gateway High School in Monroeville. “Just learning how to manage my money has been helpful.”
ACAP is part of Point Park’s Urban Accounting Initiative, an effort to increase awareness of accounting and finance careers, which is being funded by a $1 million gift from longtime Point Park benefactors Kathleen White (deceased) and the late George White.
“On the first day, one of the students asked why there aren’t as many African-Americans in the accounting profession,” Scott said. “A lot of this is about increasing awareness so kids know these opportunities in accounting are out there.”
Admission to the program is open to area sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
The program also provides Point Park students with the opportunity to meet local professionals in accounting and finance by serving as mentors to the high school students in the program.
“Not only am I helping people, but it’s an opportunity for me to learn about accounting from a different level,” said Erika Mangual, a Point Park sophomore and Pittsburgh Public School district graduate, who was recently inspired to switch to international business with a minor in accounting. “Accounting and finance will give me the opportunity to see the world. I want to learn about how other countries handle money and do business.”
In addition to the ACAP, Point Park’s Urban Accounting Initiative also includes the BOLD program, which stands for “Building Our Leaders Daily through accounting and finance.” This program is designed for middle school students and offered exclusively to students at Manchester Academic Charter School.
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