NJCPA announces inaugural ‘Student Loan Debt Lottery’ winners

The New Jersey Society of CPAs has announced the 10 winners of its inaugural Student Loan Debt Lottery, meant to help with costs on the road to becoming CPAs.

Winners were chosen at random in December 2020 out of a pool of 172 applicants. Winners will receive $1,200 each to go towards their student loan debt. The Debt Lottery was created by the Student Loan Debt Task Force and funded by the NJCPA Scholarship Fund.

“Student loan debt can be crippling for young professionals looking to get themselves settled into life after graduation,” said Melissa Dardani, a member of the NJCPA Student Loan Debt Task Force, in a statement. “In our profession, this is compounded by the stress of studying for and passing the CPA Exam. A concerted effort by schools and organizations is needed to assist students pursuing a career in accounting.”

This year’s Student Loan Debt Lottery winners include:

  • Kevin Feeney, owner at Feeney CPA LLC;
  • William Howell, owner at William S. Howell;
  • Jheanelle Jackson, fund operations at Prudential Financial;
  • Allen Raevsky, manager at Allen Raevsky & Company;
  • Belinda Scott, CPA, senior tax associate at SKC & Co.;
  • Philip Sookram, assistant professor of accounting at Saint Peter’s University;
  • John (Jack) Taylor Jr., owner, THT Tax and Accounting;
  • Juli-Ann Truppi, accounting manager at Charterhouse USA;
  • Jacqueline Justine Vavoules, senior auditor at Ernst & Young; and
  • John Verdonck III, audit senior associate at KPMG.

“Student loan debt has skyrocketed to the point that it is hindering not only career choices but life choices,” said Zachary Cohen, a member of the Student Loan Debt Task Force, in a statement. “It is a real problem that needs real solutions. This inaugural program is a step in the right direction in addressing this issue, and hopefully this will pave the way for other organizations to implement similar programs.”

Information on the next Student Loan Debt Lottery will be released in November. For more information, head to the NJCPA’s site here.

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