Tiffany Joseph inspired by success stories, now writing one of her own
A pandemic made her do it, Tiffany Joseph said.
Well, that and extra credit.
Tiffany first turned to Stark State College during the COVID-19 shutdown for a quick online tax certificate. Now she’s majoring in accounting with both tax and CPA concentrations with plans to go on for her bachelor’s degree and a dream of owning her own accounting firm.
“My instructor said that for extra credit, we could attend an Institute of Management Accountants meeting,” she said. “Hearing everyone’s story about their journeys to their career made me realize we can take different paths to get to the same goal. I thought, ‘Even if it takes me five years, this can be me.’”
Although she had a medical background, Tiffany had been the go-to person in her family for tax assistance but thought she may as well enhance her skills. Who would’ve thought, she said, she’d find her groove.
This summer she was selected to attend the Accounting Scholars Development Program for minority community college students at an all-expenses-paid conference at Howard University School of Business in Washington, DC.
“If you’re on the fence about becoming a CPA,” she said, “they put you on the CPA side, emphasizing the importance of minority CPAs in today’s society.” Plus, the conference put her in touch with a network of accounting students from around the country, scholarship and internship information, group chats and more. It also inspired her to help start a National Association of Black Accountants student chapter at Stark State and serve as its vice president.
“I love me some Stark State,” Tiffany said. Originally from New York and now living in Canton with husband and children for the past two years, she recalls attending a community college in Virginia. “I felt like a number or just dollars for them,” she said.
“Here, every department I’ve experienced has been great. Everyone wants you to get there. They make sure you succeed.” She had abundant help with financial aid, resume building, mock interviews – “it’s all explained.” The accounting program, especially, is “a community where nobody is left behind,” she said. Even with a family that includes a 4-year-old, “I feel like everyone says, ‘Absolutely we can work around this’ and helps me plan so I can and will succeed.”
She’s been a cheerleader for Stark State to her family members as well. Her 22-year-old daughter, for instance, is a Stark State student taking online web design classes from New York.
Tiffany is on track to graduate next fall and has plans to keep going and she gives Stark State extra credit for the difference her education is making in her life.
“It’s not expensive and I know I’m not wasting my time,” she said. “I know I’ll get this degree. I know I’ll become successful, starting at Stark State.”