TheAICPAannouncedlast week that Julya Faulkner, a graduate student attending Ohio Northern University, has been awarded theBeta Alpha Psi Medal of Inspiration Award. The award was presented at theBeta Alpha Psi Annual Meetingin Baltimore, Md.

The Medal of Inspiration is sponsored by the AICPA and awarded to a student who has overcome hardships to achieve a high level of success. The award includes a $5,000 cash stipend.

Faulkner was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer, when she was eight years old. After many surgeries, chemotherapy and medical procedures, her cancer entered remission.

Faulkner went on to graduate with honors from high school, and was accepted to Ohio Northern University with a full scholarship. After graduating with a Master of Science in Accounting from ONU, Faulkner will begin her career at EY.

“Julya is a perfect example of why the Medal of Inspiration Award was created. From a very young age she experienced extreme hardship in her life, yet continued to persevere and achieve all of her academic goals,” stated Yvonne Hinson, AICPA Academic in Residence. “She is truly an inspiration to her peers and anyone who hears her story. The AICPA is proud to sponsor an award that recognizes courageous students like Julya.”

While at ONU, Faulkner served on the executive board of her Beta Alpha Psi chapter, tutored fellow students, and worked with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to provide free income tax prep assistance. She was also recognized with the DeBow Freed Award, the highest honor bestowed on an Ohio Northern University student.

Outside of school, Faulkner runs a successful cake decorating business, Cakes by Julya, which provides desserts for events on campus and volunteers with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“While Julya’s challenges in life may be more than the average young adult, she is determined to tackle every obstacle and achieve the goals she set for herself both personally and professionally,” said Matthew Phillips, Ohio Northern University Assistant Professor of Accounting, per a statement.

For more on the Medal of Inspiration, head to the Beta Alpha Psisite here.