By Nicole Fracasso, OSCPA communications intern
Mentees and mentors in OSCPA’s STRIVE Mentorship Program came together on Dec. 2 for the program’s reunion dinner and a discussion of their experiences.
OSCPA created the program this past year to help increase diversity in the accounting profession. STRIVE, which stands for “Success Through Retention, Inclusion, Visibility and Engagement,” serves to build the accounting pipeline by developing mentorship relationships between high school students, college students and professionals.
“The STRIVE Mentorship Reunion was an opportunity for the students and mentors to get together before the new year, exchange contact information and meet new people,” said OSCPA Communication and Engagement Manager Abby Draper, who helped plan the dinner.
Artees Watson, a STRIVE participant and current high school senior says that the opportunities she was given were “one of a kind.”
“My experience was incredible!” Watson said. “I loved visiting GBQ, having a private event at a boutique in the Short North and our seminar on professional hairstyles in the workplace.”
Attendee Jordon Marsh, CPA, works on the tax staff at Crowe LLP and participated in the program as a mentor.
“I talked to my mentees about a variety of things, such as finishing up high school, searching for the right college and being a working professional,” Marsh said. “I got to learn about them individually while telling them about my career progression thus far. I have seen how students have been able to advance forward with the right mentorship.”
Over the course of the program, STRIVE participants were also able to go to panels at GBQ Partners, as well as attend the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Breakfast. In addition, students also participated in a Dress to Impress workshop where they learned about professional attire in the work place and even received their own business professional outfit.
Attendees said the program overall was beneficial for students and the mentors alike.
“It taught me so much about what to look for in the world of accounting and I’m very grateful for it,” Watson said.
PHOTO: Artees Watson with her mother and mentor Jordon Marsh, CPA at the STRIVE Reunion Dinner on Dec. 2, 2019.