AICPA Announces Winner of Project Innovation

Steven Bobson, Europe & Americas Editor
April 04, 2012 /

The American Institute of CPAs crowned a team from Hoover High School in Hoover, Alabama, as winners of Project Innovation: The Start Here, Go Places.(R) Competition of Creative Excellence, which called upon high school students to submit ideas for a new feature on the Start Here, Go Places. website. The team received a $3,000 scholarship to be split among team members, as well as a $3,000 educational grant to their school.

“The AICPA is dedicated to educating high school students throughout the U.S. about the amazing opportunities a career in accounting can offer,” said Heather L. Bunning, AICPA Sr. Manager, High School and Community College Initiatives.

“We appreciate all the students who submitted their ideas to the competition and their interest in helping us ensure Start, Here Go Places. is the best possible resource for students exploring the accounting and the CPA profession.”

Student teams from around the country entered submissions, with the top 10 selected by a panel of judges to participate in the finals. The finalist teams’ written proposals were posted to the website where the public had the opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite. Following the public vote, the finalists presented their ideas via Skype to the final round judge, who evaluated their idea and how well they were able to present theirs as the winning concept.

The winning team, named The Mighty Morphin’ Flower Arrangers, is comprised of students JaJuan Carter and Jordan Middleton, with Madge Gregg serving as a faculty advisor.

The team’s submission focused on the idea of taking an existing board game and converting it to an accounting version. Their goals in adding this component are to increase the number of teenagers to the site and increase the amount of time they spend, by engaging them in a game which is simultaneously fun and educational.

“I was honored to judge the final round of the Project Innovation Competition and I thought all the finalists had impressive, well thought out ideas,” said Aurmaudra T. Bradley, CPA, Senior Internal Controls Analyst at Cummins, Inc., who judged the final round.

“The winning presentation stood out through their use of visuals, their enthusiasm for their proposal and their ability to sell their idea – they didn’t just present the facts, they really made me believe it would work.”

The second place team, also from Hoover High School, was awarded a $2,000 scholarship to be split among team members and a $2,000 educational grant for their school. Students from Caddo Mills High School in Caddo Mills, Texas, claimed third place and were awarded a $1,000 scholarship and a $1,000 grant for their school.


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