Withum announced the award of $95 thousand in grant funding through the Thomas R. Suarez Student Loan Grant program to aid team members in their repayment of student loans.
Withum, a top-ranked national advisory and public accounting firm, announced the award of $95 thousand in grant funding through the Thomas R. Suarez Student Loan Grant program to aid team members in their repayment of student loans. The Grant program reinforces the Firm’s commitment to putting its people first and helping its next-gen leaders achieve their career goals by lessening the financial burden of student loan repayment.
Our Student Loan Grant program is a unique benefit to Withum and certainly one within the accounting profession. We recognize that our people work hard to get degrees in accounting and advisory roles, which then require additional certifications and credentials, such as taking the CPA exam, becoming Microsoft Certified Professionals or (ISC)² certified, to further their career path.
Bill Hagaman, Managing Partner and CEO
Bill Hagaman went on to share that through the Thomas R. Suarez Student Loan Grant program, Withum alleviates some of its team members’ financial burden from student loan debt to make it easier for them to pursue additional opportunities for career growth.
In 2021 Withum instituted the Thomas R. Suarez Student Loan Grant in combination with the estate of the late Tom Suarez, a 45-year-tenured partner of the Firm and past partner-in-charge of the Princeton office, who unexpectedly passed in 2020. During his time at Withum, Suarez treated and thought of each Withum team member as his friend and a part of his extended family. Today, Withum has awarded nearly $200 thousand to members of the ‘Withum family’ through the Thomas R. Suarez Student Loan Grant initiative.
According to CollegeBoard’s most recent data, graduates’ student loan debt averaged $28,400 in 2020. But in Sherry Goode‘s case, a 2022 grant recipient, the Grant extends beyond financial loan assistance and captures the essence of Withum’s culture and why this program exists. Goode, Lead Consultant of Digital and Technology Transformation Advisory Services in the Firm’s Washington, DC, office, living with multiple myeloma, shared, “This grant allows me to focus solely on my health and survivorship, and not finances.” With a culture built upon its core values, often referred to as The Withum Way, Goode noted that she appreciates everything Withum has to offer and the sense of family throughout the Firm.
In addition to Goode, 16 other team members received student loan aid. Among them included:
- Cassie Crisostomo
- Emily DiNapoli
- Nicole Herrera
- Kelly Hnasko
- Grace Hounsou
- Austin Jensen
- Yana Leonard
- Lauren Licari
- Kelly Materia
- Kaitlin McGeown
- Kristina Odermann
- Joseph Polanco
- Samantha Reed
- Amira Soliven
- Claire Studer
Withum is no stranger to establishing industry-leading benefits for its people. The Firm announced in 2021 the industry’s first Childcare Reimbursement Expense Program, offering team members up to 25% reimbursement of eligible annual childcare costs. Nearly 10 years ago, in response to financial hardships incurred from Hurricane Sandy, Withum created a Team Member Hardship Relief Fund, funded by contributions from team members, leadership and the Firm. The Fund’s mission is to provide financial assistance to team members and their families experiencing unforeseen financial difficulties. Withum also offers a shadow stock program for team members to share in the success of the Firm and a tuition reimbursement package for anyone looking to return to school to expand their expertise and career development.
As part of its people-first, values-driven culture, the Firm continues to embrace flexible work arrangements – hybrid and remote – and provides exclusive fitness, wellness and mental health incentives. By pouring into its people, the Firm enables team members to ‘Live Life Passionately’ and pursue whatever gives them drive, purpose and joy. To learn more about Withum and its unique benefits, visit www.withum.com/careers.