Paul S. Mills Scholarships
Journal Author Award
Financial Education Partners
Paul S. Mills Scholarships
2020 Paul S. Mills Scholarship Winners
Nairuz (called Rosie) majors in finance at St. Xavier University and carries a 4.0 GPA. She is currently interning at NW Community Credit Union on campus and has been asked to stay until she graduates. Financial literacy outreach and marketing are just a few of her experiences there. She and her single mother live with her grandparents and she clearly sees the value in financial literacy. She is very involved on campus and serves as a mentor to new students in multiple capacities. After graduation, her career goal is to become a financial analyst.
Kendra attends Purdue University as an accounting major and has set her sights on becoming a CPA. She made this decision after shadowing her accountant cousin and learning the broad range of services accountants provide, including consulting, tax, and auditing. She sees this as opening up a whole world of opportunity. Raised by a single mom, Kendra learned at an early age the importance of budgeting and financial literacy. She is driven to succeed so one day she can give back to her community and help others avoid the same financial challenges she has had. She states that receiving the Paul Mills Scholarship will ease her family’s financial burdens.
Sean is a junior at Eastern Kentucky University where he majors in finance. He was raised by his grandparents in a depressed part of Kentucky. When he first started college, he found himself constantly having to choose between being the best student he could be and supporting himself. He decided to quit school and work full-time rather than continue as a mediocre student. He started putting in 70 hours a week in local factories and then switched gears to a career in the restaurant industry. This led to plans to purchase a restaurant and he successfully raised $1 million in investment capital, but this wasn’t quite enough. With two sons, aged 3 and 10, he decided to return to school to provide a better life for his family. He held an internship with Transamerica during the spring 2020 semester and plans to complete Series 6 and 63 in next 12 months.
Ansleigh is majoring in personal financial planning at Texas Tech. She started out with plans of becoming an architect, but when her mother was laid off and unemployed for 6 months, Ansleigh learned about budgeting and managing money. This led to her interest in financial planning and a desire to help middle- and lower-income families achieve financial goals. She is actively involved in the Personal Financial Planning Association at Texas Tech; works as an advocate in Texas Tech’s financial coaching organization; and volunteers regularly at Grace Campus, a homeless shelter in Lubbock.
Aliajah is putting herself through the University of Alabama using scholarships, grants, and by working 3 part-time jobs. Her goal is to become a CPA and one day start her own accounting firm. She was raised by her disabled father and grandmother after being abandoned by her mother at age 6. Her grandmother died of lung cancer when Aliajah was just 14 and she has worked ever since to help support herself and her father. Despite this, Aliajah maintains a 3.5 GPA and serves as a peer mentor for first generation college students at UAB.
Jieye, a sophomore at Ohlone College, moved to the U.S. with her family in 2017. Prior to immigrating, her family ran a small business but lacked the expertise to sustain that business. She believes that working with an accountant could have helped their business survive. This led to Jieye’s decision to major in accounting and become a CPA. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA while working 30 hours per week to pay for school. She is very involved in her community and continually looks for opportunities to volunteer and help others.
Ulysses is a sophomore finance major at the University of Texas in Dallas. His passion for finance started at age 10 helping his family and others in his poor community with budgeting, managing, and earning money. His family had limited cash flow to survive and make ends meet. This led to an interest in watching the foreign currency markets and learning about trends and models to invest small amounts of money. Upon graduation, he hopes to work as a stockbroker, hedgefund manager, or financial analyst.
Ashley is a sophomore at North Dakota State University. She carries a 4.0 GPA with a double major of finance and agricultural economics. Her goal is to become a personal financial advisor or a chief financial officer for a small corporation. Coming from a farming town of just 1,500 residents, Ashley is interesting in building wealth for farmers and teachers in her state. She wants to help educate people on building financial stability and creating legacies for future generations.
Kristina attends the University of Cincinnati where she majors in accounting. She was forced to leave home at age 18 because of domestic abuse and is financially independent. Part-time jobs at Best Buy and AMC help her meet the challenge of paying for her college education, but money is tight. Kristina plans to earn her CPA and a master’s degree in accounting and would like to see more women in high ranking company positions and to be part of the change in this area.
Joseph recent completed a 2-year degree at College of the Canyons while working 35-40 hours week as a busboy. He will start at California State Northridge this fall as a finance major. His path to this point was challenging. When he got his first minimum wage job and first credit card, he racked up $10,000 in debt. From this experience, Joseph learned valuable lessons that resulted in him taking a break from school, working full-time, and allocating 50 percent of his income to paying off his debt—which he managed to do in just 3 years. Joseph is now committed to helping others avoid the same mistakes he made. He hopes to earn his CFP designation and become a financial planner.
Ada came to the U.S. at age 14 while her parents stayed in Mexico. In 2014, just as she was starting college, her mother died and FAFSA would not consider her financially independent because she was only 19. She paid for junior college by working because she was afraid of going into debt. She loves accounting and is certified to prepare returns for a local accounting firm. She also works in the financial aid department at Citrus Community College. She will be starting California State Polytechnic University shortly and plans to sit for the CPA exam upon graduation.
Sakib is a senior at St. John’s University where he majors in economics. He grew up in an immigrant household and has focused on academic goals to build a foundation for success. His mother died when he was 14 and his father left him in the care of his older sister. He learned to budget during a Junior Achievement career day and was then able to save and buy an XBOX. He wants to apply those same skills to help families meet larger goals. He has an internship with the MTA Inspector General and will be part of JP Morgan’s Global Finance internship in NYC. Upon graduation, Sakib wants to be involved in wealth management and public policy initiatives that will provide opportunities for everyday Americans.
Ivory is 55 years old. After raising three sons as a single parent, she had the determination to go back to school to create new opportunities for herself. She works full-time for a commercial P&C brokerage firm while attending Walden University and is just four credits away from earning her degree. Upon graduation, she would like to work with clients as a financial advisor.
ZaKira is an honor student and finance major at North Carolina A&T State University. She is interning (virtually) this summer in A&T’s General Finance department with the goal of obtaining client-facing experience in financial planning. In her freshman year, ZaKira formed a nonprofit organization called Mentoring for H.E.R. Inc, which supports minority women in providing tutoring and mentoring services for elementary and high school students. H.E.R. sponsors book drives, breast cancer awareness initiatives, and “walk-in” closets for girls in need of clothing. After graduation, ZaKira would like to work for one of the Big 4 accounting firms and continue her involvement with H.E.R.
McKenzie is a junior at Drake University. She is majoring in accounting and plans to obtain her CPA. She earned a prestigious internship with PwC for summer 2020. For the winter term, she is considering an auditing internship with a smaller firm to get insight into different firm cultures. In addition to earning her CPA, McKenzie hopes to complete a master’s degree in accounting. After spending time in the public accounting sector, she would like to return to Arkansas and open an accounting firm to support her community.
Imani is a business administration/accounting major at the Community College of Baltimore County. She works full-time and serves as the sole financial provider for her father who was laid off during the 2008 recession and has been unable to find work. Despite this busy schedule, Imani maintains a 4.0 GPA and is extremely focused on her goal of becoming a CPA or an attorney specializing in tax law.
Sovanny Diep Thach
Sovanny recently finished her associate’s degree in business administration at West Valley College and plans to pursue her BA in accounting at the University of San Francisco in the fall. Both her parents recently lost their jobs due to COVID-19 closings. Sovanny also lost her part-time restaurant due to COVID, but is committed to her education and will do what needs to be done to stay in school. She also has a strong commitment to her family & community. She assisted in tutoring other students at West Valley and she hopes to volunteer with the University of San Francisco’s tax program for low income families.
Jensine attends Robert Morris University where she is majoring in finance and accounting. She believes being able to guide people in the right direction financially can change their lives and she wants to earn her CPA so she can help be that change. Jensine grew up in the foster care system and was adopted at age 14 by a family with seven other children. She knows first-hand about importance of financial literacy to create financial stability. After graduating, she looks forward to helping others plan their futures by working in the financial services industry as a CPA.