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ABWA Announces 2023 Scholarship Recipients at Luncheon

Written by: Tamarra L. Brownn

On Saturday, November 4, ABWA hosted the 2023 Scholarship Luncheon.

About 150 guests gathered at the Glendora Country Club to meet and congratulate the 2023 Scholarship recipients. This year, ABWA awarded five general scholarships ($1,500 each) and two Rosemarie Pamela Brown Scholarships ($3,500 each). In addition to financial support, each scholarship recipient has the opportunity to sign up for our mentorship program.

A Vibrant Atmosphere

The signature event had a positive vibe with uplifting vocals by singer Lisa Marais and opportunities for attendees to mingle and network.

Personal Connections and Networking

Guest speakers (left to right): Shannon Nash, Denise LeDuc Froemming

“My experience at the ABWA luncheon was great because I got to meet my mentor in person,” said Reyna Clark, a 2023 Scholarship recipient. “I was also able to meet new sponsors for the ABWA luncheon and talk about my plans for the future. The ABWA luncheon was a great place to do some good networking.”

Keynote Speech and Partnerships

Shannon Nash, CFO at Wing, gave the keynote speech, inspiring the audience to excellence and achievement. Also featured during the program was Denise LeDuc Froemming, CalCPA CEO, who promoted CalCPA’s partnership with ABWA to award scholarships to ABWA student members and emerging professionals interested in attending the 2024 CalCPA Women’s Leadership Forum in May (more details to come).

Importance of Support and Recognition

“When you have guidance and support, it expedites your growth process exponentially,” said Anastaysia Cole, a 2023 scholarship recipient. “The scholarship luncheon wasn’t just an event; it was a beacon of support and recognition, reaffirming the importance of diversity and inclusion in the accounting field for Black women.” Each of the scholarship recipients gave a brief acceptance speech. This year’s cohort is an exceptional group of bright, multi-talented, and determined young women ready to take the profession by storm. Among them are future CFOs, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists.

Scholarship recipients (left to right): Tatiana DePante, Shaquala Harris, Reyna Clark, Madrid Spain, Mary Whiting, Anastaysia Cole, KaTia Cummings

Meet the 2023 General Scholars

The 2023 General scholars are Tatiana DePante, a graduate student at Southern New Hampshire University;  KaTia Cummings, a senior at Fisk University; Mary Whiting, a senior at California Baptist University; Shaquala Harris, a senior at California State University San Bernadino; and Reyna Clark, a sophomore at  California Lutheran University.

ABWA also awarded two Rosemarie Pamela Brown Scholarships to Anastaysia Cole, a graduate student at the University of Southern California, and Madrid Spain, a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine.


Networking Beyond the Event

“Attending the ABWA luncheon was a memorable experience for me,” Madrid Spain said. “The luncheon allowed me to network and meet remarkable women that I will continue to keep in contact with.”

Mary Whiting agreed. “The ABWA event was truly impressive and encouraging to be a part of. Witnessing a diverse group of individuals uplifting each other was a wonderful and empowering experience. The sharing of personal stories, detailing how individuals conquered challenges, serves as an inspiration.”

Since its inception in 2016, ABWA has awarded $36,000 to 25 recipients.