Novogradac Names Participants for Second Year of Building Opportunities Program

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Initiative Introduces Students to Careers Centered on Social Benefit

National public accounting and consulting firm Novogradac has selected 18 students from 17 schools to comprise the second class of its Building Opportunities program, an initiative designed to introduce accounting and real estate finance students to a career focused on building opportunities for their communities.

Leveraging some of Novogradac’s strongest assets including its talented employees as well as industry-leading publications, trainings and conferences, Building Opportunities provides professional networking, mentoring, and educational resources to selected accounting and real estate finance students to acquaint them with career paths in affordable housing, community development, historic preservation, and renewable energy.

“Novogradac is pleased to draw from our decades of work in affordable housing, community development, historic preservation, and renewable energy tax incentives to reach out to the student community and spark the interest of future leaders,” said Michael Novogradac, CPA, the organization’s managing partner. “Building Opportunities is designed to raise awareness and give students the chance to consider career in these important sectors. The program is also one of the ways Novogradac is working to increase diverse representation in community development finance and accounting; we are pleased to report that 50% of the participants chosen for this year’s program identify as female and 56% identify as Black, indigenous and people of color, and 25% are a part of the LGBTQIA community.”

Interest in the program remained strong in its second year: Novogradac received more than 70 applications from students attending more than 58 different schools. The students selected to participate this year include accounting and real estate majors.

“Novogradac is deeply pleased with the volume and quality of applications we received. The level of continued interest is a clear signal that todays’ student community is looking for opportunities to curate career paths that meaningful social outcomes,” said Amy Hook, Novogradac’s chief social impact officer. “We look forward to seeing how this program benefits the students who participate as well as the broader field of community development finance and accounting.”

To be eligible students must be full-time undergraduate (juniors or seniors) or graduate students studying accounting, economics, business, finance or real estate with a minimum grade point average of 3.5. Selection is based on academic performance, quality of leadership positions and skills shown, commitment to community service, and an essay that shows an understanding of pursuing a career based on purpose and a commitment to pursuing a career in community development finance or accounting.

The 2022 Building Opportunities participants are:

  • Madison Able-South, St. John’s University
  • Killian Ankers, Baruch College
  • Vera Areebola Granes, Long Island University
  • Tahirah Campbell, Georgia State University
  • Maea Carriedo, University of Texas at Austin
  • Estefania Cortes Chamares, Kent State University
  • Khalid El-Shabazz, Florida International University
  • Gia Hartzell, Gwynedd Mercy University
  • Fabian Kiessetz, Lake Erie College
  • Nick Kim, Temple University
  • Victor Lai, Baruch College
  • Chase Loomis, Stark State College
  • Wade Parsons, California State University, East Bay
  • Gizelle Perretti, Florida Atlantic University
  • Cheyenne Phillips, Eastern University
  • Kumar Siddhant, New York University, Stern School of Business
  • Ian Thomas, Texas State University
  • Albert Tobia, Bunker Hill Community College

About Novogradac
Novogradac, which has been in business for more than 30 years, has grown to more than 650 employees and partners with offices in more than 25 cities. Tax, audit and consulting specialty practice areas for Novogradac include affordable housing, community development, historic rehabilitation, and renewable energy. For more about Novogradac’s focus on social impact, visit

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Alex Ruiz
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