UMass Amherst offers summer 'CAMP' program for minority high school students

Last month, from July 24-29, twenty-eight high school juniors and seniors across Massachusetts took part in Careers in Accounting and Management Professions, or CAMP - a specialized summer camp for students interested in accounting and business careers,Wicked Localreports. 

CAMP is a summer program coordinated and operated by theIsenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. It is co-sponsored by Rick Gulman, partner and co-founder of Woburn firm DiCicco Gulman & Company, his wife, Susan, and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.

“My wife and I love how CAMP provides this opportunity to minority students who would not otherwise be exposed to the endless possibilities associated with a career in accounting or business simply because of their background or environment,” said Gulman, according toWicked Local. “We are amazed at the enthusiasm, passion and engagement of the campers and counselors each time we visit with them. I have no doubt these students can have successful careers in our industry. Programs like this not only improve diversity but also attract very motivated and resourceful talent.”

Since its inception in 1998, the CAMP program offers minority high school students in Massachusetts a chance to attend a free, weeklong program to gain knowledge of accounting and other business-related fields. Activities include lectures, hands-on activities, and visits to local businesses.

Students this year attended a Real World CPA panel in Boston, hosted by the MSCPA, and met PricewaterhouseCoopers employees at their Seaport office.

“At PwC we understand that diversity of backgrounds and experiences is critical to business,” said Todd Bari, assurance partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, per Wicked Local. “PwC is proud to support programs like CAMP that demonstrate the numerous doors professional services can open and the opportunities that abound should they choose to pursue a career in this field.”

Data from the AICPA shows that minorities represent about 1 in 6 professionals in firms nationwide. Programs such as CAMP look to expand the future pool of CPAs, as well as having the profession reflect the future population in the U.S.

“Our organization has a long history of supporting minority students pursuing a future career in accounting,” said Amy Pitter, president and CEO of the MSCPA, per a statement. “The CAMP program will allow students to get fully immersed in all that a career in accounting has to offer. The MSCPA is focused on increasing diversity in the accounting industry, and we believe this class of CAMP participants will go on to do great things in their academic and professional careers.”

CAMP participants are also eligible for scholarships and mentoring through the MSCPA.

“CAMP is a wonderful opportunity for many high school students who never thought of becoming of business leader,” stated Melvin Rodriguez, assistant dean of advising and diversity from the Isenberg School of Management. “This wonderful program, which is financially supported by the MSCPA and our alums Richard and Susan Gulman, has offered hundreds of students a look into the many careers in accounting and other management related fields. As a result, the students see that this is an interesting and dynamic way to become leaders, not only in business, but in their communities.”

For more on the UMass Amherst's accounting program, head their site here.

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