Diane Zouabet Tchaya winner of the MassCPAs accounting scholarship

BROCKTON – With her two daughters at school and her husband at work, Diane Zouabet Tchaya, 32, begins her hour and a half drive from her home in Brockton to Northeastern Universityfrom the Boston campus.

On campus, she takes a full day of classes from about 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., preparing for a master’s degree in accounting, which she will receive at the end of August.

The night before, she worked a long shift at the Greater Boston League School in Walpole, where she is a direct residential helper for children diagnosed with autism every weekday from 11 p.m. to 6.30 a.m.

She chews gum in class just to keep herself awake.

“I work at night and then go back to school during the day,” she said. “In class, I get so sleepy trying to keep up.”

Tchaya, who immigrated with her family to Boston from Cameroon just under 6 years ago, works tirelessly every day of the week to make sure her daughters have food and her tuition is paid for.

“It’s just hard to deal with it all, you know,” she said. “And with children, it’s not easy.”

Diane Zouabet Tchaya, 32, a resident of Brockton, will receive a master's degree in accounting from Northeastern University at the end of August.

On April 13, she was sitting in class when she received an email from the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MassCPA) titled “Congratulations”.

She received a large scholarship that would subsidize her education.

“You know when your heart is racing,” she said. “I had to re-read the email to make sure it wasn’t some kind of scam.”

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Before that time, she didn’t have enough to pay for the semester, even though it was already in progress. After finding out that her government loan wouldn’t cover her tuition, she realized she had about $20,000 left unpaid.

The assistant director of her program sent her a link to the MassCPA scholarship webpage, and she decided to take a chance and apply.

“I didn’t expect this,” she said. “It was a huge pressure that was taken off my back.”

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MassCPA is a national collective of certified public accountants. They offer Massachusetts accounting students scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, fully funded by donations through the organization’s program. educational foundation.

Since the program began in 2006, the association has awarded more than 300 scholarships, totaling more than $1.5 million. Tchaya was one of 44 scholarship students this year.

“The Society is honored to support these extraordinary students who are Massachusetts’ next generation of CPAs,” said Amy Pitter, president and CEO of MassCPAs, at this year’s awards ceremony on May 10. “This dedicated and talented group gives us all confidence in the future of the profession, and we couldn’t be prouder to help them along their journey.

Long before starting her master’s program in 2021, Tchaya moved from Cameroon to Massachusetts at the age of 24, leaving her husband behind. English was not his mother tongue.

She considered becoming a lawyer, but eventually decided to pursue accounting. She was good at it and wanted to be around successful people. She was accepted to the University of Massachusetts-Boston, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics.

She had to work full time in addition to her classes. She worked at Logan Airport during the day and took her economics class at night.

An undergraduate student at a public university, she easily received funding for her courses through the FAFSA. But once she started her master’s program, the situation was different. She had to take out a loan, which did not cover all of her school fees.

“You have all these tuition fees because it’s a private school,” she said. “And that’s really huge.”

Now all her classes are during the day, so she has to work through the night to pay school fees while her husband takes care of the children at home in Brockton.

When her husband Casimir Mvetumi arrived in the United States in 2017, he worked as an Uber driver and learned English on the side. He now works as a financial analyst for Wayfair.

In January 2022, Tchaya moved her family to Brockton where she now lives with her husband and two daughters, aged 6 and 7. Now that they live in Brockton, they don’t have family or friends nearby to help with their children, but nonetheless, Tchaya makes it work.

“We have to do what we have to do,” she said.

Tchaya will receive a master’s degree in accounting from Northeastern University at the end of August.

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