Mary T. Washington Wylie Internship Preparation Program is an award-winning program that launches Black/African American and other racial/ethnic minority college students into the accounting profession with access to training, resources, and mentors. At the end of the program, employers interview participants for a variety of paid internships and full-time jobs. Applications for the 2024 program are now closed.

The Illinois CPA Society and its charitable partner, the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois, are proud to recognize the 12th and largest cohort to date to complete its award-winning Mary T. Washington Wylie Internship Preparation Program. This highly competitive program is renowned for preparing promising Illinois-based racial and ethnic minority college students interested in pursuing careers in accounting with the skills needed to obtain their first accounting positions and ultimately pursue the certified public accountant (CPA) credential.

Congratulations to all the scholars including these outstanding City Colleges’ students:

  • Luis Corral of  Richard J. Daley College
  • Richea Haygood  of Olive-Harvey College

The three-day, virtual program took place Jan. 3-5, 2024, where these diverse scholars and prospective CPAs received customized training, access to interviews, CPA exam guidance, and more. Some program highlights included motivational speeches and insightful panel discussions, resume and LinkedIn profile advice, interview coaching, and opportunities to network with other diverse accounting students and professionals.

The scholars engaged in various sessions and interviews with representatives from Abbott, Baker Tilly US LLP, Crowe LLP, Deloitte LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, FORVIS LLP, Grant Thornton LLP, Hyatt Hotels Corp., KPMG LLP, McDonald’s Corp., Northern Trust Corp., PwC LLP, Sikich LLP, Topel Forman LLC, and Wipfli LLP. All participants also received $500 scholarships to help with their educational expenses. Additionally, through a partnership with the University of Illinois, participants had the opportunity to interview for a free tuition and stipend scholarship for the university’s Master of Accounting Science program.

“We remain dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the CPA profession, and the ongoing expansion and enhancement of this crucial program continues to be a top priority,” says Kari L. Natale, CAE, vice president of the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois. “This impressive cohort represents the future of the CPA profession. It was a privilege to get to know them, observing as they conquered common barriers and gained the courage and skills necessary to become the best versions of themselves.”

The program, which now boasts 338 alumni, is funded by donations to the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois’ Mary T. Washington Wylie Opportunity Fund. This fund honors Washington Wylie’s legacy as a trailblazer in the accounting profession. Washington Wylie was a Chicagoan and Northwestern University graduate who founded her own accounting practice in a South Side Chicago basement in 1939 and became the first Black female CPA in the United States in 1943. She is widely and highly regarded for making it her life’s mission to hire and mentor aspiring Black CPAs. To learn more about this program click here.

About the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois

The CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1998 by Illinois CPA Society members. The Fund was created to ensure ongoing funding for scholarship and outreach programs geared toward encouraging individuals to choose accounting as a career and achieve the CPA credential. Visit

About the Illinois CPA Society

Founded in 1903, the Illinois CPA Society, with more than 21,700 members, is one of the largest state CPA societies in the nation. Its mission is dedicated to enhancing the value of the CPA profession through the strategic initiatives of advocacy, information, education, and connections. Visit