CAP is an innovative program designed to positively impact the lives of minority high school students by exposing them to a myriad of career options and developing their potential as future leaders.
"The funding provided by Ernst & Young enables Lehigh University to execute a program in which 30 outstanding high school students are given the opportunity to explore career options in the accounting field," says Sherry Buss, Director of the Career Awareness Program. "Ernst & Young has supported this program for the past four years both financially and with personnel support by providing minority representatives from E&Y to serve as mentors, facilitators and special speakers. Their support is invaluable."
The Accounting/Business CAP, offered by Lehigh’s Iacocca Institute, is a one-week residential program that teaches young people about various careers through classes, business trips, and team projects. CAP participants must be sophomores or juniors in high school, and possess both a 3.0 grade point average and a strong involvement in school and community activities. Each program begins on Sunday with leadership and team-building sessions and concludes Friday evening with a closing ceremony. During the week students attend interactive classes taught by Lehigh faculty members and industry professionals, visit companies to learn first-hand about their businesses, and complete team projects. The week culminates with group project presentations to executives, peers and family members.
In addition to the residential program, CAP participants are invited to the Lehigh campus for Lehigh Leaders Day and a Saturday Admissions and Financial Aid Workshop for the students and their parents. For those students who matriculate at Lehigh, the CAP program offers a summer of credit bearing courses before the fall semester of their first year. Seven current Lehigh students are graduates of the CAP program and are now actively involved as counselors.
"CAP gave me a look into the life of a college student," says Majed Dergham, a junior marketing major from Allentown, PA. "I wasn’t planning on applying to Lehigh because I was too anxious about going to a school with a challenging reputation. However, CAP really showed me that I could attain the tools to become successful at any school or career I chose. I basically owe my entire Lehigh experience to CAP. If it wasn’t for the program, I wouldn’t have made so many close friends or be at such a fine institution."
The CAP program contributes to the multicultural fabric of Lehigh’s campus. Increasing diversity on college campuses and in the workplace is a growing concern for universities and corporations alike. The partnership between Lehigh and organizations like Ernst & Young allows the pair to pursue mutual goals that positively affect their respective communities.
Ernst & Young, a global leader in professional services, employs nearly 100 Lehigh alumni. With extensive business knowledge and hands-on industry experience, the Ernst & Young organization can implement a broad array of solutions to help companies capture growth, improve financial performance, and manage risk -- anywhere in the world. In addition to the recruiting and hiring of Lehigh employees and interns, Ernst & Young has a long history of supporting a variety of Lehigh programs, scholarships, research endeavors, and curriculum initiatives.
The Ernst & Young affiliation is facilitated by the Lehigh University Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR), which works with the university community to build mutually beneficial relationships with corporate and foundation partners. As a fundraising unit, CFR seeks support from a variety of sources, for programs and projects that advance Lehigh’s mission. For more information, call 610-758-6623, or visit the department’s web site at www3.lehigh.edu/partners