Career opportunities available for minority youths

Black History Month is underway, and for the next several weeks, attention will be paid in schools and in the community to those individuals and groups that have helped forge this nation’s greatness.

But I want to focus on getting the word out to younger generations that black people in the 21st century are still underrepresented in several quality and high-paying jobs. We still need more blacks in the medical and legal professions, skilled trades, hospitality and hotel industries, police and fire departments and high-tech positions such as information specialists.

Of course obtaining a quality education and making wise life choices is paramount in obtaining any of these jobs.

I recently received some emails about educational opportunities in two professions, and I wanted to share them with you.

Jennifer Rieman of the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants sent the first email to me.

The Ohio CPA Foundation is offering a free leadership program this spring for college students of color majoring in accounting. This program is open to students statewide.

The foundation is preparing racially and ethnically underrepresented accounting majors for successful careers as future CPAs at the Accounting Careers Leadership Academy, or ACLA. Applications for the program are available now and are due by March 13.

The academy takes place May 17-19 in Columbus. The ACLA is an all-expenses-paid experience geared to support and advance college students working to pursue their accounting degree.

“ACLA is designed to help accounting students take the next step in their professional development, to give them an edge as they begin their careers,” said Karen West, foundation executive director.

This program hosts more than 50 students and includes leadership development, a career fair, interactive sessions with business leaders and networking with peers.

Interested students must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program and should submit an application, resume, one letter of reference from a professor and an unofficial transcript by March 13. Applications can be completed online at .

For information about ACLA, contact Jasmine Mickey at or 800-686-2727, ext. 2247.

The Ohio CPA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that raises awareness for accounting and CPA careers.

Also, the Ohio Society of CPAs and the foundation, in partnership with the Ohio chapters of the National Association of Black Accountants, are hosting the Accounting Careers Awareness Program for Ohio minority high-school students to discover accounting and business career paths.

The program will be June 11-16 at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business in Columbus. The application deadline is March 31. Applications can be completed online at

This is an opportunity for black students striving for a career in accounting to get some much-needed skills.

I also received an email from Kenneth “Brotha K” King of Youngstown concerning student opportunities with the National Association of Black Journalists.

According to its website, the NABJ’s mission is to strengthen ties among African-American journalists, promote diversity in newsrooms and honor excellence in the media industry.

I often speak at area schools for career day programs, and I’m saddened that few students – black or white – aspire to become members of the Fourth Estate. Maybe it’s the pay, or the public’s lack of confidence in the media that’s preventing young people from getting involved in the industry.

As one of the few black journalists in the Mahoning Valley, I try to make sure to share about opportunities for minority students who may be contemplating a career in journalism.

The first is NABJ/NBC Summer Fellowship Program. The organization continues its partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal for the NBC News Group Summer Fellows Program.

NBCUniversal will offer fellows the opportunity to join an NBC program this as interns. This is a paid internship based in New York City.

The deadline to apply is Feb. 24. You can find more information and application form at

Also, the NABJ National Office is looking for interns to assist the full-time staff. Interns will gain experience in day-to-day operations of a national, nonprofit membership organization devoted to providing quality programs and member services.

This is a paid internship based in College Park, Md. The deadline to apply is also Feb. 24. You can find information and the application form at

Several years ago, I was a member of the Youngstown Chapter of the NABJ, along with Joyce Brewer, a former reporter and weekend anchor for 21 WFMJ-TV, and Ode Aduma, longtime WKBN reporter and member of the Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and a few others. Joyce, who served as chapter president when she was here, is now an Emmy-winning journalist who lives in Atlanta; Ode retired in 2005. Hopefully, those interested will take advantage of these opportunities to broaden your skills and get real-world experience.

Ernie Brown Jr., a regional editor at The Vindicator, writes a monthly minority-affairs column. You can contact him at