La’akea Fujita and Anna Filipkowski, junior accounting and business administration majors at Eastern Mennonite University, have both received scholarships from the Virginia Skyline Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants.
The scholarship recognizes academic achievement and evidence of leadership and future promise in local college students. This year there were two scholarship recipients from EMU and two from James Madison University. Both women have served as student representatives for EMU’s business and leadership department and are involved in various other extracurriculars and jobs.
Filipkowski, a Troy, Virginia native, is a member of the EMU women’s soccer team. She also works for the EMU Fitness Center, managing both the front desk and facilities, and does financial work for U.S. Lawns of Richmond.
Filipkowski’s goal is to obtain a position at an accounting firm to gain experience, which would then help her to sit for the CPA exam within a year.
“I am goal-oriented with my studies,” Filipkowski says. “I enjoy participating in my classes and only missed a couple due to traveling with soccer.” She says she enjoys “being a part of the EMU community.”
After obtaining a bachelor of science degree in accounting, Fujita aspires to pursue a career as a CPA and eventually, a forensic accountant. “I want to use my gifts of logic and organization and my interest in investigation to solve crimes and bring justice about,” she says. “I had the opportunity to explore this career with the FBI’s head of forensic accounting and this confirmed my career goal.”
In order to sit for the CPA exam, Fujita is taking additional credits this semester, and will explore additional credit options over the summer and after graduation. She plans to take her CPA exam immediately after fulfilling her credit requirements.
“Student loan debt is debilitating and negatively impacts the economy,” Fujita says. “I want to break that pattern by aiming to graduate from Eastern Mennonite University debt free.” Her plan includes a scholarship from EMU, applying to other scholarships, and work study and summer jobs. Fujita is an associate in her mother’s public relations business in addition to being the financial manager of Common Grounds Coffeehouse.
“[With this scholarship] I can focus more on my studies and my calling to be a forensic accountant,” Fujita says. “I am blessed and thankful to have people who believe in me and are willing to assist in this goal.”
In 2020, Fujita also received the Minority Accounting Scholarship from the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants.
The Virginia Skyline Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants provides continuing education programs and networking opportunities for accounting and finance professionals in the region.