Eric Fox, an accounting graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, has been awarded Beta Alpha Psi's first Medal of Inspiration Award. The award, which is sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), includes a $5,000 cash stipend, which Fox plans to use when he begins his MBA program this fall.
The award is given to a student who has experienced extreme hardships in his or her life and who has demonstrated an unusually high level of success in spite of that adversity. Eric is noteworthy for his academic success in spite of a life-long struggle with autism. While he was completing middle school, Fox was determined to cease being enrolled as a special education student. When he reached high school, he was placed in regular classes at Glendora High School. He graduated as the valedictorian and enrolled in Citrus Community College. He graduated with a straight A average and received the Key of Knowledge Award.
Following his graduation, he enrolled at California State University, Los Angeles, as a business administration major with an accounting concentration. Recognizing his motivation and ability to overcome his obstacle, he was chosen by his peers to serve as president of Beta Alpha Psi's Beta Lambda chapter and to chair the 2007 fall awards breakfast at Cal. State, L.A. Last spring, Fox was selected to be the undergraduate representative on the University's Accounting Advisory Board, served as co-chair of Beta Lambda Chapter's 2008 Spring Awards Banquet, and was an intern at the Walt Disney Company. He plans to sit for the CPA exam in the future.
The Medal of Inspiration was presented on August 9 at the Beta Alpha Psi 2008 annual meeting in Anaheim, California, by Denny Reigle, the AICPA's director of academic and career development, and Stephanie M. Bryant, Ph.D., president of Beta Alpha Psi.
"Eric Fox exemplifies dedication and motivation and the AICPA and Beta Alpha Psi are delighted that Eric is the inaugural recipient of this award," said Reigle.
According to Bryant, "Eric is what competition is about. He has had to overcome enormous obstacles. His dedication and motivation inspire us all."